Australia’s liberal gambling regulation is well known around the world. Gambling itself, whether it be betting, poker, or wagering anything, is entirely legal in Australia. However, each year, the rules for operators change, some new ones get added, others get removed. There’s always a new rule, always a new regulation.
The ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) introduced new gambling advertising regulations in March. Most gambling companies were not happy with the new legislation, which states that gambling companies can’t advertise between 5 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
At the outset, the intended result was to stop operators from advertising on radio and TV. The ACMA argued that gambling companies were overexposing children to gambling. In addition, they cite public outcry and support as another factor. However, after realizing that most youngsters mostly consume media online, the proposal was also extended to include advertising on internet-based platforms.
What Does This Mean for You?
Unlike most of the world, gambling Down Under extends way beyond brick-and-mortar casinos. There are poker machines and pokies in plenty of restaurants, gambling bars, and casino pubs around the country.
What’s more, 80% of Australians gamble one way or another. Australia is without peer when it comes to gamblers per capita. While these new regulations might reduce gambling amongst the underaged, they won’t do much to end the country’s vibrant gambling tradition.
There are plenty of reasons why Australia is like this, but to prove our point, we’ll showcase a few of the most important.
Ease of Access
Flexible libertarian regulations mean that pretty much anyone can gamble, other than children, of course. There is little to no stigma attached to gambling in Australia.
Whether you’re more of an online player or a pokies fanatic, it’s pretty darn easy to gamble. Online platforms are easy to access and have low barriers to entry, and pokies are a common sight in many pubs, cafés, etc.
To gamble in the U.S., for example, you’d need to travel to a designated casino city and spend a significant amount of cash. In Australia, on the other hand, you can bet with a dollar, or even less sometimes. There are hundreds of thousands of gambling facilities, which means there’s more than enough for anyone.
A National Tradition
Australia tends to lead in most gambling statistics. From the number of gamblers to the amount wagered, not even China can hold a candle to Australia’s numbers.
In 2016, the Fairfield area of Sydney spent around $8 billion on gambling, which is an average of $40,000 per person. It goes without saying that the biggest winner of that whole ordeal was the Australian government. Casino taxes brought in around $23 billion in 2014.
The roots of Australia’s gambling culture go back further than the beginning of the 20th century. While most cultures around the globe shun gambling and casinos, Aussies have embraced them.
One of the reasons for the new regulations was overexposure by gambling companies. Australian casinos face serious competition from both local and international companies.
Brick-and-mortar casinos compete bitterly with online platforms in a somewhat limited market. To attract gamblers, gambling companies use aggressive marketing techniques that often include plenty of bonuses and jackpots. For a country that has a nation-wide love for gambling, these offers and jackpots tend to be too good to ignore.
Another strategy gambling companies use to further their goals is to make various gambling machines available almost everywhere. From bars, pubs, and restaurants to the internet, gamblers can always find something near them.
Even though the Australian government introduces new laws, rules, and regulations from time to time, the government mostly has a positive predisposition towards the gambling industry. It is no wonder, considering how much tax revenue the gambling industry brings in each year.
Even before the internet became a thing, Australia already had progressive gambling policies. There were few regulatory hurdles, casinos were opened in every city, and TV stations could run lotteries whenever.
The early 2000s continued this progressive trend, as Australia regulated online casinos. Almost two decades later, Australia became one of the leaders when it comes to the number of online casinos.
It’s Just Fun
Simply, gambling is fun. The lights, sound, thrills, wins and losses, stories — it’s no wonder Aussies love it.
Around 96% of young people in Australia participate in betting activities in one form or another. An average Australian spends around $1,200 each year on gambling. Perhaps due to these extremely high numbers, the government decided to enact specific measures to reduce gambling activities.
However, in spite of these recent developments, the Australian government’s stance on gambling is still positive.