The online gambling industry is poised to become a dominant player in the Australian online gambling market in the next decade.
With Australia’s online gambling markets estimated to reach $5.3 billion in 2019, this could be a game-changing moment for the industry.
The big question is whether the Australian Government will embrace the shift or if the country’s new laws will allow online gambling to remain unregulated.
The question is also whether there will be enough interest to push for the changes through.
There is plenty of room for innovation, says Tony Smith, founder of the Australian Internet Gambling Association (AIGA), a lobby group.
“The big difference now is that there are two large organisations, the big two online gambling operators and one that is not as large, but is in the business of gambling online,” he says.
“In the past we have seen this sort of evolution of gambling in the United States and elsewhere, but this is something that Australia’s regulators will be watching very closely.”
This is the first major change to the current laws that have been put in place since the introduction of online gambling in New South Wales in April.
While the new laws are meant to protect consumers, there are also questions about whether they will do enough to prevent gambling addiction and violence.
In a new study published this week, Australian researchers found that gambling addiction was the No. 1 issue facing Australians in their twenties, with nearly two thirds of those surveyed suffering from the problem.
“There are two main types of gambling addiction,” says Professor Mark Ritchie, of the University of Sydney.
“One is the gambling addiction that is induced by drugs, alcohol and gambling.
And the other is the addiction that has been induced by other forms of gambling such as internet gambling.”
There is an important distinction between these two types of addiction.
Gambling addiction, which can last for up to two decades, can lead to an individual losing all of their money and their self-worth in the process.
But it’s important to note that gambling does not lead to addiction, Ritchie says.
“Gambling does not mean that you will be gambling forever.”
Gambling can also lead to other problems such as poor self-image, depression, self-harm, suicide and a range of negative outcomes including poorer mental health, poor relationships and substance misuse.
The new laws were meant to tackle these issues, but many experts believe they may not do enough.
“We do not know yet whether or not the new gambling laws will do anything about the problem of gambling,” says Australian Institute of Criminology (AIOC) Professor Michael O’Shea.
“I don’t know if they are going to have a meaningful impact at all.”
Professor Ritchie agrees, but says the laws have been largely ineffective at tackling the issue.
“Gambling is a complex, multi-layered issue, and I’m not sure that the current measures are really addressing all of the underlying causes of the problem,” he said.
“It may be that the existing laws are not effective in addressing the underlying problem, and therefore they need to be revisited.”
The Australian Government says the changes will help to keep the industry safe.
“While we will continue to work with our industry partners, the Government will also make changes to strengthen the law to better protect Australian consumers from the risks associated with online gambling,” a spokesperson said.
Online gambling is expected to become the second largest industry in the world by 2020.
“By 2025, we expect online gambling will be the third-largest industry in Australia,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“That means that the Australian gambling industry will be worth over $10 billion and that includes online gambling.”
Australia has the highest rate of gambling among OECD countries, and the industry is the single largest source of income for many Australians.
“Gibraltar has also seen an increase in online gambling use.
Gibbs and O’Sullivan are now looking to other countries for inspiration.”
Other countries are starting to look at the US and UK, and how much of an impact they have on the online gambling space,” Gibbs said.
But the biggest challenges for online gaming companies are also coming from within.
Online gaming has been hit hard by the introduction in the US of a series of online poker machines.
While these machines are regulated under existing laws, the introduction has sparked widespread opposition, with a number of players leaving the game and the Australian Gaming Commission (AGC) announcing it was closing the online poker scene in New Zealand.
Online poker, which was first introduced in 2000, has now been banned in the country.”
We can’t do anything to harm it, so we’ve made the decision to shut it down.”