Commission: Open Up Online Gambling

Admin. - July 1, 2010

Productivity Commission recommends ending state monopolies.

Online gambling regulation could be on the way in Australia following the release of an official report recommending an end to state monopolies on licenses.

The report on land-based and online gambling, released last week by the federal government's Productivity Commission, recommended that "state governments not renew retail wagering licenses when most of them expire between 2012 and 2016.

The Commission also estimated in the study that the global turnover on online gambling is around $16.6 billion and that the industry employs around 145,000 people around the world.

Meanwhile, the federal government has commissioned a separate study into the impact that online, telephone and digital television gambling have on problem gamblers.

Australian online gambling laws are currently unclear, with government-licensed providers Tatts and Tabcorp the only license holders to provide services to Australians.

Tatts provides betting services as UniTAB in Queensland, the Northern Territory and South Australia, worth around A$130 million a year, while TABCorp holds licenses for the more lucrative Victorian and New South Wales markets, worth around A$252 million in 2009.

Because of the restrictive rules, most Aussies actually use offshore providers, where they will spend an estimated $1 billion in 2010.



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