Are Australian Gambling Laws In For a Change?
According to a recent press release the Australian Government – after consultation with the states and territories – has decided that the relevant authority, the so-called Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, is going to perform a review of the operation of the existing Interactive Gambling Act from 2001.
Timeframe for the Review of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001
A discussion paper “Review of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001” has been produces and comments on this paper was due by 21 October 2011. The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy can conduct further consultations on the basis of materials submitted to clarify aspects hereof or to gather further information. Subject to the Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform reporting by the end of 2011, the final report is due by the first half of 2012.
What is under Review
It certainly seems like Australia's interactive gambling laws are finally under review, with the release of the discussion paper “Review of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001”. Obviously the purpose of this review is to investigate how well the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 works.
More specifically, the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, is going to look at 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. Other areas to be looked at is the development of smart phones and other new technologies and the impact of this on Australian gambling.
More interesting the review is also going to look at the adequacy of the existing provisions of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, including technical, operational and enforcement issues relating to the prohibition of interactive gambling. The advertising of such services and the affiliate business is also going to be discussed further in the future. In line with this, focus will also be on international regulatory approaches to online gambling services including consideration of their effectiveness and cost.
Other considerations that are also going to be taken into account are aspects like social impacts, tax, jurisdictional and enforcement aspects of regulated access to interactive gambling currently prohibited under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. Previous findings from other authorities on interactive and online gambling and gambling advertising is also going to be taken into account and as such all other relevant matters too.