It is “only a matter of time” before Australian lawmakers act to make online gambling legal, according to leading authorities in the field.
Speaking at this week’s Gaming, Racing and Wagering Australia (GRWA) conference in Sydney, GamePlan Consultants founder Sudhir Kalé said that he expects authorities to revisit Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act in the near future in order to alleviate the prevalence of Australians using illegal offshore gaming sites and to boost tax revenue. Under current laws, online gaming in Australia is restricted primarily to a handful of licensed sports betting sites. Daily Fantasy Sports giant DraftKings has also been granted a license to offer its services to Australia, however casino gaming and online poker remain frozen out as per a tightening of the Interactive Gambling Act in late 2017.
“In my opinion, it is only a matter of time before online gaming becomes legal in Australia,” Kalé told industry representatives during a presentation at GRWA on Tuesday.
“That’s the logical step to avoid losing valuable tax revenue to offshore operators and it’s what the Productivity Commission has recommended.”
Kalé’s prediction also received support from the Executive Director of the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation Queensland, Michael Sarquis.
Asked for his thoughts on the issue, Sarquis told Inside Asian Gaming, “If you prohibit something you create a black market and that has been one of the concerns in Australia – that the offshore provision of online gambling has been a problem. The Commonwealth is moving to address that.
“It’s my personal view that at some time in the future (online gaming) will be legalized within a properly regulatory framework. That’s not the view of the Queensland government, it’s just personal view.”