Wednesday 13. April, 2016

Online Gamblers at More Risk of Harm than Land-based Gamblers

A recent review by the government into betting has shown that gamblers are at higher risk of problem gambling if they wager online as opposed to at land-based betting venues.

According to human services minister Alan Tudge, the risk of problem gambling with online betting is higher than with other forms of betting. This is largely due to the proliferation of online gambling with improved mobile phone technology and the increased use of the Internet that means that punters have access to gambling opportunities anytime and anywhere.

“The Commonwealth government recognises that, while most people gamble responsibly, gambling is a major social problem for some Australians,” Mr Tudge stated in a speech to RSL Clubs in NSW where he revealed the data. “Up to 500,000 Australians are at risk of becoming, or are, problem gamblers, and this has flow-on impacts to the community, where the social costs are estimated to be at least $4.7 billion a year.”

It has been shown that the fastest growing segment of the industry is online which has grown at a rate of around 15 percent per annum.

“This is due to the technological advances, particularly the ubiquity of smartphones, in concert with aggressive marketing campaigns by the licensed online wagering companies,” Mr Tudge said.

“Today, there are about 800,000 active account, although the number of people wagering regularly would be much smaller than that.”

The government is expected to form a response to the review which should be available towards the end of this month. A significant focus of the government’s response is expected to be on consumer protections. There are also expected to be decisions regarding offshore betting companies and credit betting is expected to be banned.

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