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ClubsNSW Campaigns for Stricter Regulation of Online Casinos in Australia

On January 13th, 2009, following the request of the Australian Government last year for the Productivity Commission to make a public inquiry into gaming, ClubsNSW has stated that it will utilized the inquiry to call for local online gaming companies to be subjected to the same rules as those imposed on clubs, casino facilities and pubs that offer poker machines in Australia.

If the proposals are approved, online operators would be blocked from accepting wagers executed with a credit card and giving gaming inducements like free wagers. Operators would also be required to have some staff trained regarding responsible gaming and would have to feature free problem gaming counseling. The Chief Executive Officer for Clubs NSW, The Registered Clubs Association of New South Wales David Costello, warned that online gaming was now so popular among players that the Federal, Territory and State Governments must do something to make sure that online gaming is subjected to the same laws that apply to operators of poker machine.

Costello said that the clubs have cooperated with the government to reduce problem gaming in the community. He added that they will not just sit back and watch this effort invalidated because of online gaming interests who thinks that it is enough to provide an email address to a counseling center in Los Angeles. Online wagering is a multi-billion dollars business in Australia. Costello said that Centrebet recently told its shareholders that the company's turnover improved by fourteen percent in 2008.

Centrebet added that their turnover would further appreciate in 2009 despite the global economic crisis. Just last year, ClubsNSW, responsible for nearly fourteen thousand members across New South Wales, rejected a proposition from both Centrebet and Betezy who sought to install wagering options in clubs via PC's and mobile phones. ClubsNSW rejected Centrebet and Betezy's offer, believing that they have to take a firm stand against online and credit card gaming.

Despite the accusations of ClubsNSW, electronic poker gambling machines are accepted as one of the largest contributors to gaming addiction all over the world. It has been found out that as electronic machines spread, they displace all other examples of gaming as well as the problems connected to them. The Productivity Commission's investigation into Australia's gaming industries start on November, with the Commission expected to give a report by 2009 and a final report to the Government before the end of 2009.

 

05 February 2009
News Submitted by:
Lauren Desmond

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