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Regulated Gambling Australia: What's The Deal?

January 5, 2010 (CAP Newswire) — Like a lot of other countries today, Australia has been struggling with the idea of regulating gambling — both online gambling and offline, land-based casinos. And the government’s decision on whether or not to pose restrictions on land-based slot machines (or “pokies”, as they’re called down under) will almost certainly have a direct effect on its policies towards online gambling.

Currently, in addition to several popular casinos, most Australian clubs, pubs and hotels have a room dedicated to slot machines — in contrast to places like the U.S., where such gaming is usually restricted to specially regulated casinos. But the government in New South Wales, home of Sydney and a good chunk of the country’s population, has come up with a set of recommendations to dramatically reduce these amount of “pokie” machines.

The government is apparently concerned that out-of-control gambling is harming the public health (and also, like U.S. politicians, under considerable pressure from “family” groups morally opposed to all forms of gambling),

“The recommendations suggest tightening controls over gambling at existing venues while at the same time opening the way for more online gambling,” writes Brian Robins in the Sydney Morning Herald.

So, what’s this mean for online gambling affiliates? By limiting land-baed slot machines, the government may severely hurt Australia’s hospitality industry in a time when it’s already suffering from recession. And if things turn out the way they did in the U.S., it’s believed that restricting land-based gaming in this way can help the online casino industry.

Additionally, the article hints that such regulations of land-based pokies may open the door for more liberal attitudes to online gambling, which would further help the online casino affiliate marketers who market to Australia.