Australia Expecting Changes In Online Gambling Rules

Published Saturday, March 09, 2013 -

Around the planet in various jurisdictions the laws regarding online gambling can change within months and this keeps operators feet to the fire in regards to compliance. Australian gambling law is in a state of flux, in 2013 given that, first, it is a Federal election year, and second, the Federal legislation which prohibits online gambling remains under review. Given these two factors, it is difficult to predict how or whether the law affecting online gambling will change in 2013.

The Department of Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy published its Interim Report in May of 2012 almost a year ago and has yet to release the final report on the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 which prohibits the provision and advertisement of online gambling services. The recommendations presented in the interim report include proposals that the IGA be amended to liberalise online tournament poker for a five year trial period and that online in-play bets be permitted. As social gambling comes online there are more debates being planned to curtail what is still legal in Australia the use of virtual currency for what the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 defines as not a "gambling serviceā€.

Draft legislation by, anti-gambling politician, Senator Nick Xenophon will ask the Australian Parliament to amend the IGA of 2001 to ensure that virtual currency games are prohibited. There are many offshore online gambling operators looking at the expanding market in Australia such as William Hill which just acquired Sportingbet for a considerable amount of money with the intent of doing business in the land Down Under. This concern that there is too much advertizing aimed at the young demographic was established by a statement by the Prime Minister in January 2012. She said if the wagering sector did not self regulate to prohibit the promotion of live odds during sports coverage, the government would introduce legislation to this effect by June 2012.

Wagering operators have since, as an industry, ceased promoting live odds during sports coverage. The government of Australia may indeed change the laws after the election but then again they said that during the last campaign.

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