Tasmanian Online Gambling Drawing Criticism

Published Friday, October 09, 2009 - Online-Casinos.com

Has Tasmania gone too far when it comes to online gambling? That question and a few more have crossed the minds of many people in Australia. Among them the already established online gambling operators in Australia's other legalized jurisdictions. Betfair is thinking about relocation as reported by ABC news in Australia recently.

Tasmania instead of charging taxes, has decided to charge a one time fee of $250,000 for licensing. This low fee will undoubtedly be attractive to some of the biggest gaming operators in the world, with many already looking into relocating as this article is written. After all the bottom line is profit and with low operational costs in Tasmania why not relocate there?  Online Gaming Analyst, Roger Wheeler, was quoted as saying, "This move by Tasmania is going to have a worldwide effect on the future of online gambling," adding, " For the rest of Australia, it could end up in disaster, because Tasmania is undercutting all of their laws regarding online gambling."

William Hill and Ladbrokes decided it was time to relocate when they could not compete effectively with other online gambling firms. Taking their operations to Gibraltar where the taxes were a fraction of the tax levied in the U.K. The Gibraltar jurisdiction is only charging one and a half percent as compared to the U.K.'s charge of thirteen percent. These companies are saving huge amounts by operating from Gibraltar. Now Tasmania is coming on strong with their offering will they move again?

Officials in Sydney Australia are now worried that online gambling firms may pick up and leave for Tasmania leaving people in that city out of a job. The Tasmanian governnent has attracted the ire of the welfare sector also drawing critisism from Anglicare, and spokesperson Chris Jones who said, the organisation has waited six months for the Government's plan to combat problem gambling. Stating that,"We think that's where their energy ought to go, and we would expect to see that prior to a state election,"

Greens' Leader Nick McKim says the Government has its priorities all wrong, saying,  "There are certainly jobs implications in relation to Betfair leaving, but there are also community impacts in relation to other bookmakers coming down and making their homes in Tasmania, or making their businesses in Tasmania, which may have an impact on the Tasmanian community."

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