THE federal Government has been forced to address an “unintended consequence” of its internet gambling ban after pressure from gaming operators.
Senators sat through the night in June to pass laws banning Australians from internet casinos and allowing local operators to sign up only overseas punters.
The laws include a ban on promoting online services here.
Some gambling operators were concerned they would be caught out by advertising offline services that had the same name as their internet offering.
Communications Minister Richard Alston conceded the ban could have the unintended effect of banning advertising for ordinary casinos if they had an online operation under a similar name.
“The advertising prohibition … did not intend to prohibit the advertising of land-based casinos,” Senator Alston said.
The Australian Casino Association said gaming operators had been pressing the government to fix the problem and said it showed what happened when laws were rushed.
“It demonstrates that the legislation was introduced in such a hurry that obviously more thought needed to be given to it to make sure there were no unintended consequences,” executive director Chris Downy said.
Provinces raking in billions from Canadian Slot Online gamblers
TORONTO– Provincial governments are bringing in almost as much money from gambling as they are from cigarettes and alcohol combined, according to a report released Thursday by the Canada West Foundation.
In 1992, gambling was mostly restricted to bingo halls and lotteries. But now, video lottery terminals are a common sight and casinos dot the landscape from coast to coast. People can now gamble online.
Video lottery terminals are becoming more common
That growth, in just eight years, has tripled the amount of money governments take in.
Jason Azmier did the study for the Canada West Foundation, a public policy research institute. He was surprised by what he found.
“The big numbers are what grab you,” he says. “$5.5 billion in profits for governments, almost as much money as from alcohol and tobacco combined.”
But while revenues have grown, the amount of money governments spend on prevention and education has not.
John Kelly of the Responsible Gambling Council in Ontario says it doesn’t compare with alcohol awareness campaigns. “There are all kinds of awareness, advertising and messages out there and people go into the schools (saying) ‘If you’re going to use alcohol use it carefully, drink responsibly.’ You don’t see that for gambling.”
The Canada West Foundation will release another report with recommendations this fall.
One suggestion it plans to make is that governments spend more money on education, as well research, so that Canadians will know more about this growing source of revenue.