Debate and Controversy Over In Play Betting in Australia

By Maria McCoyGoogle

Reports coming out of Australia indicate that it is possible that within six months to a year, the country’s gambling industry could offer online casino games players the option of “in-play” betting. The Gillard government sent a briefing to members of the gaming industry acknowledging this as a possible supplement to the country’s existing top rated online casino sites.

Online casino games and no deposit bonuses are already popular among the citizens of Australia. These changes could potentially add about $300 million to the country’s gambling industry.

Currently, there are inconsistencies in the system, which allows for phone betting but not the use of the internet.

Stephen Conroy, Communications Minister stated,  “While the State of Origin was on last night, you can pick up a phone and make a bet, but you can’t go online and make a bet. So you’ve got a situation where if you make the phone call it’s legal, if you try and do it online it’s illegal. And that seems an anomaly … this is one of the issues that needs to be looked at so that you’ve got consistent laws.”

Online poker was also addressed. Reports state that the government has plans to allow Australian gambling companies to offer online casino games such as poker and roulette.

Anti casino games advocates have responded to the news, claiming that Conroy was “backflipping on Labor’s opposition to the expansion of online betting.” Their stance is that if allowed, “risk to problem gamblers outweighed the benefits” of allowing the live in-play betting.

Conroy commented, “We are phasing out the copper network and replacing it by fiber so effectively when people move to a VOIP phone service and pick up the exact same physical phone they were using before the copper was turned off they will suddenly be committing an offence by accident. Technology is leaping ahead of the legislation.”


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