Review of Australian Interactive Gambling Act in Sight

The role of smartphones in online gambling growth to be investigated

The latest news from the Australian market inform of the decision made by the Australian Federal Government's Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy to look into the role of smarphones in the growth of online gambling.

This investigation will form a part of a broader review on the country's Interactive Gambling Act 2001, triggered by the uproar over the continuous boost in sports betting, specifically the promotion of live-odds, during televised sports coverage.

It has been specified that the investigation will target the following points:

'The growth of online gambling services (both regulated and unregulated) in Australia and overseas, and the risk of this to the incidence of problem gambling; the development of new technologies, including smart-phones, and the convergence of existing technologies that may accelerate the current trend towards the take-up of online gambling services in Australia and overseas; the adequacy of the existing provisions of the Act, including technical, operational and enforcement issues relating to the prohibition of interactive gambling services and the advertising of such services; consideration, where appropriate, of technology and platform neutrality including current distinctions relating to 'betting on the run' and micro‑betting; international regulatory approaches to online gambling services including consideration of their effectiveness and cost.'

In addition, it will also cover: 'examination of the social, tax, jurisdictional and enforcement aspects of regulated access to interactive gambling services currently prohibited under the Act; harm minimisation strategies for online gambling; the findings of the Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform inquiry into interactive and online gambling and gambling advertising and the Productivity Commission Inquiry Report on Gambling (2010).'

In addition, it has been specified that the department will submit its findings to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy in the first half 2012, provided that the Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform submits its findings by the end of 2011.

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