Clubs Australia Claims Online Gambling Needs Controls

Published Friday, July 06, 2012 -

The Australian government is struggling with the online gambling issue and many stake holders are weighing in on the argument with views of their own. Recently a report by the ‘Age’ revealed that Clubs Australia, the organization representing Australia’s many clubs, claims it is the best organization to control online gambling in Australia. Their reasoning is they say they can best provide harm reduction programs that profit driven online operators will fail to provide properly.

The Age reported that Clubs Australia said, “A locally based, club operated online gaming model would provide Australians a legitimate avenue for consumers to exercise their gambling preferences, and engage in an enjoyable activity within a safe and regulated environment.” Despite the current illegality of online gambling in Australia estimates show at least 130,000 people are playing online poker on unlicensed offshore websites and are spending a $1 billion a year on them. Clubs Australia has been a promoter of unrestricted pokies and says the community-benefit model of pokies revenue flowing to local clubs should be applied to online gambling. A five year trial run for online poker has been recommended by a review committee on interactive gaming that suggests that current laws regarding the activity should be liberalized. All other online gambling such as casino games should remain prohibited according to the recommendations of the committee.

Clubs Australia says that should casino games be allowed, clubs should be the sole operator, ''Such a model would at the least feature existing club gambling policies such as a ban on credit card betting, a ban on inducements to gamble and a ban on advertising to non-club members.” Anthony Ball, Clubs Australia executive director, stated that the group was not lobbying to allow casino-style gambling online. ''However, we strongly believe that if the federal and state governments choose to go down that path, then the safest way is through a club-based, not-for profit-model.''

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