Australia Cracks Down on Offshore Internet Gambling Sites
Australian media, Social Services Minister Scott Morrison is leading the charge with a full review of Aussie gambling policies.
Morrison and his associates are particularly keen on making certain that every wager their countrymen make is properly taxed. In a statement to the press, Morrison said that more than half of the $1.6 billion (USD) his countrymen spend on online gambling is actually taxed, adding:
Unlike Australia’s licensed operators, overseas agencies don’t contribute product fees to racing and sporting bodies, do not comply with Australia’s legal system and are not obligated to monitor and report suspicious betting activity. Illegal offshore wagering also leaves Australian punters without protection for payouts on their winnings.
Besides offshore internet gambling, Morrison and his agency are wading into the thorny issues surrounding in-play wagering and advertising for regulated sports betting sites.
In particular, officials will be focusing on regulations that allow in-play wagers to only be placed via telephone. Online operators like William Hill have done an end-run around that particular rule by using a click to call system that allows punters to place a call to William Hill’s website, while simultaneously placing their wagers.
Morrison, and other Aussie officials, don’t seem so concerned about the William Hill workaround as they are about the fact that their country’s gambling code is desperately in need of an overhaul. To that end, they will be reviewing all aspects of the code with a specific emphasis on areas where the law has failed to keep up with technology.