Australian Government Begins Legislative Path to Fight Online Gambling Harm

The government of Australia recently revealed their plans to create legislation that will allow players to self-exclude from online gambling sites, including casino and poker options. The legislation will be the start of an online National Self-Exclusion Register that the government hopes will reduce harm among residents related to gambling. The change is part of a larger crackdown involving online gambling via the National Consumer Protection Framework.

Official data released by the government shows that Australians are losing over A$24 billion a year to gambling. When considering the losses on a per-capita basis, gamblers in the country lose more than any other are of the world with an average of A$1,200 annually.

The government under Prime Minister Scott Morrison would now like to take action to tackle the amount spent by Australian’s on gambling. The goal of the self-exclusion register is to allow individuals to voluntary place themselves on a list that will restrict the individual from engaging in online gambling activities within the country. This would include all activities, like poker, casino, sports betting, etc.

The ban would be in place for a minimum of three months. Another option would be to self-exclude for an extended period of time, longer than the suggested three months. Officials believe that the self-exclusion option will motivate players to have periods of time when they do not gamble online to change their behavior. It will hopefully minimize the risk that the players face when considering gambling related harm.  

This new register for self-exclusion is just one of several steps being taken in Australia regarding an online gambling crackdown in the country. In early November, the Australian Communications and Media Authority told local internet service providers that access to unauthorized online gambling sites is to cease. Emu Casino and Fair Go Casino were the first to be affected by the change.

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