Australian Lawmakers Reviewing Online Gambling Laws
The Australian government sat back and watched as the US Department of Justice went after online gambling websites with an chilling indictment. The indictment essentially ended the business of Full Tilt Poker, and has done severe damage to PokerStars and Absolute Poker.
This week, the Department of Gaming, Racing, and Liquor reported that it has found flaws in the Interactive Gambling Act in Australia. The law prohibits real money gambling on poker or casino games. It is not illegal for Australians to play on these sites, which creates a problem for law enforcement officials.
The law has been in effect for ten years, and the DGRL asserts that not one arrest has been made in the ten years, yet online gambling has become as popular as ever in Australia. It is a situation that lawmakers are now addressing, and some are hoping that the loopholes in the law are removed.
Senator Nick Xenophon has been pushing government to create tougher regulations on the land-based casino industry as well in Australia. The legislation being proposed in recent weeks would make it a requirement that casinos install technology on their slot machines that would force gamblers to set betting limits before they started playing slot machines.
Casinos have opposed the possible changes as a required commitment. Instead, the casinos have offered to install the technology on an optional basis. The debate between the casinos and the lawmakers who want the tougher restrictions has been ongoing for several years.
Another option for the government in the online gambling issue is to simply regulate the industry. Several lawmakers have voiced an opinion that instead of altering the current laws to prohibit online gambling, regulation may be the way to go. It is predicted that the current government would not make such drastic changes to their gaming laws.