Online Gambling Hearing in Australia

An online gambling hearing is conducted in Australia, aiming for problem gambling.

In Australia online gambling hasn’t been provided with a favorable climate. Presently there’s a federal inquiry being conducted into online gambling, in relation with Interactive Gambling and Broadcasting Amendment Bill 2011. Cormac Barry, Sportbets chief executive has made up a consistent case.

A big problem brought forward was the problem gambling. According to Barry, the online gambling operators bring a higher level of protection to problem gamblers than the land based casino, through third party verification and analytics. Those problem gamblers are trying to cheat the system through different methods, such as opening multiple accounts or opening new accounts using the same e-mail address but with different telephone numbers and addresses. These issues will be detected by the real-time matching software, which will notify the problems and the fraud team will take action accordingly.

The ninety days verification period is a problem to these regulatory  arrangements. during this period players cannot withdraw funds, but they can lose money by wagering. There are reasons to shorten the verification period but it is impossible to complete the verification procedure before players have already opened their accounts. This could lead players to wager on unregulated sites which is in fact worse.

Setting federal standards to ensure the best protection for online gamblers is necessary, according to Barry. He also agreed to a financial scheme, where online operators would have to make annual contributions to a national gambling problem fund, which would be a resource for gambling research and counseling organizations, used to help registered problem gamblers.

While citing some statistics to put the issue in perspective, Barry quoted some research from Queensland government, revealing the lack of problem gambling evidence after the introduction of online gambling in Australia, in 2001. Problem gambling in land based casinos and retail roulettes is higher than in online gambling. Sportsbet company has 700,000 customers, 95% of them based in Australia. Around 900 of them used Sportsbet’s self-exclusion in the past year and 1,600 of them set deposit limits at will.