At the current time in Australia, live online sports betting is prohibited per legislation that is in place. However, many casino regulators and bookmakers are joining forces with sports entities to make a push towards legalizing this betting format for players. Because of a loophole that is present in the documentation regarding gambling, companies can provide these events through mobile phones and TABs, but many would like to see sports betting take on an all-inclusive role in the country.
The federal government is constantly pushing back, with a review of Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act occurring just at the end of 2015 and now causing scrutiny from certain individuals. This includes Senator Nick Xenophon, who would like to ban the bets altogether as seen on a bill just recently shown to Parliament for consideration.
On the other side of the debate are major companies in the casino industry and the Australian Sports Commission, as well as advocates for freedom of information and the aforementioned state-based casino regulators. Their support for more lenient legislation comes from serious growth in the market happening in foreign regions that is a positive sign for the future of online gaming. For example, live in-play sports betting is legal in Europe, and bets that occur after sports events have begun account for 75% of the total transactions.
The Australian Sports Commission argues that offering native sports betting platforms will bring in revenue that is already lost going to offshore markets. They go on to add that Australia has one of the most comprehensive regulatory systems in place when it comes to online gambling, requiring operators to regularly submit data and invest much time and effort into keeping players safe. The companies Betfair and Crownbet go beyond this even, calling for banning services from bookmakers not in Australia and completely focusing on domestic growth.
Such legislation could shift efforts away from fretting over minute details, and allow the government to focus its energy on banning and preventing nefarious activity coming from foreign companies. It also might be able to address the need for proper regulation as it relates to sports betting and other gambling practices, because players who cannot find local options will go elsewhere and use potentially dangerous sites as a result. The National Integrity of Sport Unit states that the explosion of sports betting markets online has led to many unregulated options which are harmful to Australia’s community and economy.
Australia is home to one of the largest markets of gambling in the world, with just online sport betting generating an astonishing $2.75 billion in a single year. This represents a large chunk of the overall $4.6 billion generated in revenue from sports betting, according to recent statistics