Apple Allegedly Violating Australian Online Gambling Rules

Published Sunday, March 31, 2013 -
Apple Allegedly Violating Australian Online Gambling Rules

It looks like Apple has opened a can of worms in Australia after offering an application to play at online gambling sites such as PokerStars for real money. The revelation that Apple Australia may be breaching federal online gambling laws by offering apps of this sort has cause a firestorm of new controversy in the land Down Under.

Senator Richard Di Natale, who is a member of the gambling reform committee commented, ''We don't allow online poker in Australia for Australian people under the Interactive Gambling Act … they [Apple] have got an obligation to take down apps that are against Australian law and they should do it,'' The act does prohibit the provision of all online casino-style gambling to Australians. The political heat is bringing the issue to a boiling point, with the most outspoken Senator against gambling expansion in Australia saying he wants to see loopholes like this one closed. Fairfax Media tested the field and was able to download the app from Apple and was able to make it functional with real money betting.

The situation in Australia is coming to a head with the final review having been presented with the finding that as many as 2200 online gambling operators working illegally on the continent. It is estimated that Australian’s lose as much as 1 billion AD on these illegal internet wagering sites. The government has rejected the recommendation to legalize these sites putting everything into debate again. Independent MP Andrew Wilkie who is the gambling reform committee chairman has said “ better than allowing online gambling sites to be licensed in Australia, the government should ''tighten'' the rules further ''and put in place strategies to deter Australians from accessing the dangerous offshore sites''.

Senator Di Natale is asking the federal government to ''clamp down'' on illegal operators where possible. He also expressed his concern about social gambling apps on social media site such Facebook, which he is concerned may ''normalise'' gambling, particularly for children.

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