Australia behind many countries in online gambling regulation: AGR research

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Latest analysis from Alliance for Gambling Reform revealed that Australia’s gambling regulations are far behind in curbing gambling advertisements or online gambling especially towards minors. The research suggests that Australia lags behind Europe and other countries in terms of regulation of online wagering.

Carol Bennett, chief executive of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, commented that the steps taken to curb these gambling adverts towards young people have been very slow. “It’s at a time when the community is really screaming out for some change in this area,” Bennett said to The Guardian.

Since coming to power last year, Labour announced BetStop – a self-exclusion service along with a ban on the use of credit cards for online gambling and making loot boxes in a video game M15+ (age 15 or over). Despite the announcements, none of the measures has been implemented.

In an announcement last week at the Senate estimates, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) revealed that setting up BetStop had been postponed since the end of March as the firm that was hired to do it went into voluntary administration. As of now, they are currently in talks with another firm that will pick up the leftover work and complete the system, but no approximate dates were provided.

Bennett believes that the government will swing back to full action and create a strategy as soon as the online gambling inquiry report is available. This will presumably address the current issues causing harm.

“Parents with kids that are accessing [these] games are seeing that these games are no longer just innocent fun, that they’re actually starting to incorporate elements of gambling because they’re grooming the next generation of losers,” she added.

Despite the ACMA working with the ISPs and banning illegal gambling and betting websites it seems that the government needs to do a lot.