Online gamblers in Australia will be watching the news headlines with interest and apprehension, as the government began an inquiry into the impacts of online gambling.
Ms. Peta Murphy MP, Chair of the Committee behind the inquiry, explained that ‘the inquiry will be a fresh look at online gambling and whether current laws, regulations, consumer protections and education and support programs are enough to reduce harm to gamblers.’
She went on to state that the Committee was particularly concerned about how children and young people could be exposed to gambling advertising and how this may impact their lives in the future.
The inquiry is seeking input from affected individuals and organisations in the form of written documents, ideally of no more than ten pages, and will be accepting these submissions until 11 November 2022.
The current state of online gambling Down Under
The driving force behind this new government inquiry is the manner in which online gambling has flourished throughout Australia in recent years, becoming an increasingly widespread pastime across all echelons of society. In fact, a study conducted in 2021 revealed that 11% of Australians had taken part in some form of online gambling in recent months, an increase of 3% from 2020.
The onset of Covid-19 was a significant factor behind this rise in the number of online gamblers, as people were denied various forms of entertainment outside their homes and turned online instead. However, while players just across the water in New Zealand can take advantage of reputable online operators such as Rizk Casino, in Australia, offshore operators are not allowed to target Aussie gamblers.
Nevertheless, this has still been a sharp increase in the number of Australian players enjoying online slots and other virtual casino entertainment. Now, in a bid to prevent the losses that inevitably come with heavy betting, the government seems braced for a crackdown.
What kind of impact could the new reforms have?
It seems likely that one of the most significant changes that will be made in the coming months will be related to advertising. For example, all adverts must use taglines at the bottom that will make people think twice about gambling in addition to urging them to do so responsibly.
Discussions on the accessibility of online gambling for young people are also to be expected.
How to gamble responsibly?
With the Australian Parliament’s inquiry and the new spotlight it shines on the issues that can arise from gambling, there have been widespread discussions on how to stay safe whilst engaging in this activity. According to the organisation GambleAware, it is important for individuals to put safeguards around how much they spend and stick to their limits.
Furthermore, gamblers should carry out thorough research and learn about this activity on every level before taking any action. Having a game plan and abstaining from any decision-impairing substances such as alcohol and drugs are also helpful recommendations when it comes to gambling responsibly.