Aussie Players Still Turning to Offshore Casinos
Thus far in the year, Australian authorities have incited many new changes to the country’s online gambling legislation, including an outright ban on offshore sites. However, despite this ban, such sites seem to be as popular as ever among Australian players and punters.
According to recent estimates on the topic, offshore online casinos serving Australians are earning between AU$63.9 million and AU$400 million per year. Even more concerning is the fact that certain experts are expecting this amount to reach a massive AU$910 million by 2020 alone.
Forsaking Protection from Crime
Such websites have long been blamed for posing potential threats to players, as well as having a long-term negative impact on the tax revenues brought into the country through regulated gaming. For now, licensed operators may still supply online betting and lottery services in Australia, although other forms of online gambling (like online pokies, Poker, casino and Bingo games) are all strictly banned.
With that said, barring local players from playing at offshore casinos online seems to have done little to discourage the sites’ operators from providing these services in the country. Many of these operators are based in other countries with far more lenient iGaming regulations, which is why they often offer forms of gambling that are illegal in Australia.
Unfortunately, a wider range of options is attractive to many local players, who often forget or remain unaware that these websites do not provide regulated protection against potentially harmful activities. Unlicensed casinos are often rife with money laundering activity and other highly illegal practices, which can and do put thousands of players and their money at risk.
Public Education: The Best Remedy
In order to delve deeper into the situation, a survey into online gambling was commissioned by The Conversation. In a study of 1,001 Australian online gamblers, over half of the participants had placed wagers with offshore sites over the past month, citing ease of use and a greater variety of options for their choices.
Interestingly, the players who only used licensed sites were far more likely to know about the licensing jurisdiction of their chosen websites. Both domestic and offshore players, on the other hand, were not aware of their country’s current legislation, nor did they know which Australian operators held appropriate licensing.
Considering this, experts have noted that public education campaigns on the dangers of foreign and unlicensed gaming sites could be much more effective than simply restricting access to them. Through better education, players could be empowered to make safer choices, which in turn will help their nation through increased tax earnings earned through regulated and licensed iGaming sites.