Like many nations, Australia has struggled with the idea of whether to regulate online gambling. The country was the center of online gambling controversy in the past, with a plan to censor the Internet that would have shut down some gambling websites.
That censorship plan has yet to be fully implemented, but that doesn’t mean online gambling is off the hook in the land down under.
Similar to the United States, in Australia, online gambling exists in a legal grey area. “Companies offering online casino products are theoretically subject to fines of up to $1.1 million a day, but Australian Federal Police have refused to lay charges against illegal operators,” according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Now, a new effort to regulate online gambling in Australia is underway. Researchers at Southern Cross University in New South Wales have began a survey “aimed at understanding internet gambling behaviour in Australia,” reports the Northern Star.
The report identifies the university’s Dr Sally Gainsbury as the leader of the study, which will be in collaboration with an international team.
“My hope is that it will assist key stakeholders, including governments, regulators and gambling operators to develop appropriate policies to regulate internet gambling,” Dr Gainsbury commented.
The result could be a positive one: Regulating online gambling could yield benefits for the online casino industry, especially in a growing market like Australia, where online gambling revenues are estimated to be around a billion dollars a year.
Unregulated online gambling, on the other hand, leaves online gaming companies and players (and affiliates) too much at the mercy of arbitrary government enforcement actions, little of which are understood. That’s the unfortunate situation in the U.S., and that’s presumably what Australia wants to avoid.