As per the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2020, submitted to the Parliament on June 10, Australia has already suspended all real money online gambling in the country and now, social games may be next.
Australia has one of the highest incidences of gamblers in the world, with the rates of problem gamblers also beating the world average. The country has enacted various laws and mobilised its media regulator, ACMA, to suspend illegitimate gambling operators.
Now social casino and social gambling games are in the line of fire. In stating his arguments, Willkie explained that 40% of all gambling losses were generated by individuals who suffer from gambling addiction.
That, Willkie explained, translated into 400 suicides each year, a grim and worrying statistic if true. He further noted that the COVID-19 lockdown had prompted players to participate in gambling products more. “In time of great emotional or financial stress, people are more likely to lose more money,” Willkie explained, citing research.
He also quoted the Financial Review, which reported a recent significant uptick in online gambling operations of up to 114% at some operations. Similarly, Willkie took aim at politicians who had been too slow to propose adequate reopening policies for the brick-and-mortar gambling segment.
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The move also follows similar clamp downs on gambling operations in other countries, particularly in Europe. While those in South America have seen regulated, well-managed betting industries as a solution to recent tax deficits.