An official announcement from Scott Morrison declared war on illegal offshore gambling associations in Australia. He is the Minister of Social Services for Australia and he released an official statement on Monday. The strike down is affecting the revenues this country is bringing in due to the plethora of illegal operations that are luring customers within this country’s borders. The number one area that the Australian government is targeting is companies operating from the United States illegally.
It is reported that there are more than 1.1 billion dollars in revenue coming out of the Australian market and going into companies based in America. Since Australia allowed online gambling, the focus of the money was to improve their country and its operational needs. If the revenue is going overseas, then it is not doing this country as good as they thought. The gambling authorities is determined to stop this problem once and for all.
Morrison spoke about the problem about online gambling and that using these unscrupulous offshore operators doesn’t guarantee that a player will get their money. They take illegal betting in Australia as a serious matter and they are not going to take things lying down. There are more than 60% of offshore operators that are hurting not only the government but the people. These people put their hard earned money on an establishment’s hopes of payment, and if they are not regulated by the government, there is no recourse if they don’t pay player’s their winnings. They get access to checking accounts, savings accounts, and they have credit card information at their fingertips. While they may be governed by another country, many are illegal and not governed by any local. This is what the biggest problem is for online gambling, regulation is a nightmare.
AIFS did some studies and found that gambling in Australia is a 1.6 billion dollar a year industry. There are currently more than 2,000 sites that are not regulated, which means they are not getting the tax benefits from these entities. The operations that are legitimate in Australia are compliant with the legal system, and the country is reaping the tax benefits from it all. The companies that are not registered don’t have the ability to contribute to the tax system. They don’t comply and because of this they are not being monitored and reported. Any suspicious activity is under the radar of the government. If and when they o find out about such a place, there is little to nothing that can be done about it.
It is clear for anyone to see that the Australian gambling laws are out-of-date. The regulation of online gambling happened back in 2001. Any person can tell that the laws have since changed in many areas, as technological advances have pressed forward. Though the laws have been amended several times, the gambling authorities need to review the entire system. Their first step in cleaning up and moving forward is to attack and remove the illegal gambling betting that occurs. The investigation is going on presently with a report expect by the Christmas season in 2015. Expect implementations to occur within the beginning of 2016. It’s time for a change and things need to move forward.
Another problem that is causing much concern in this area is that those wanting to gamble can place wagers via the telephone. This is especially the case regarding Sportsbooks. In order to continue to offer gambling services in Australia, these entities will have to become licensed. They must also follow the current regulations and operate within the safety demands for the sake of the players. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has gotten involved in this too and is working with Morrison to correct the problems. The core of the problem is that there must be legislation to allow other entities to operate, but to do so within the confines of the law.
The review that is going to be done will be in good faith. They want to ease the concerns of offshore gambling operators and turn them into legal operations. The Australian government knows that some of the US companies offer legitimate services that are hard to mimic in their country, however, they just want them to be on board and paying their taxes like everyone else. Going into this changeover, there will be no preconceived ideas and everyone will be given the chance to go through the process in good faith. While they are extending an olive branch of sorts, some companies are already pulling all operations out of the country in an attempt to avoid paying.
Xenophon, conversely, has made up his mind and is in the process of revising legislation that will ban betting and gambling marketing at any sports events in the country. There was a review done in 2013 and the legalization of sporting events was ruled on. However, no one took any action after the review so things have remained the same. Regardless, the future of both offshore online gambling operators and in-play betting is in real danger here. Will they be able to stop all of the illegal activities? Probably not, they will only be able to get a few honest companies to comply and increase the revenues. They will be constantly patrolling and searching for ways to find those that are not in compliance, but there is still a great risk that many people will use the unscrupulous companies and lose their money anyhow.
Plan for big changes in 2016. This time, the Australian Government, means business. They are not going to handle so lightly those who are not in compliance and are caught. It’s been a long time coming.