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Online gambling in Australia skyrockets. Thanks to COVID-19

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Online gambling in Australia skyrockets. Thanks to COVID-19

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Gambling/Betting is a very famous activity practiced in Australia. In fact, 80% of Australian adults engage themselves in some kind of gambling activity, as CasinoHEX Australia reports, the country has the highest rate of gambling on the entire planet.

With the onset of COVID-19, all casinos and gambling centers were closed in Australia, thanks to the nation-wide lockdown. This, in turn, resulted in an increase in online gambling in Australia, so much so the amount of money spent on gambling platforms increased by 67% over the recent weeks.

Recent data from Google Trends revealed that the searches for “online casinos Australia” and “online poker” had quadrupled since the lockdown. The biggest spike was recorded on March 22, the day the lockdown was declared.

Is it even legal?

Mainstream, regulated online poker sites were declared illegal in 2017. People who want to play have to find alternate ways, the unregulated ones mostly. However, there was an act passed in 2001 called ‘The Interactive Gambling Act’, by the Australian Commonwealth Parliament which targeted online gambling operators, making it an offense for them to offer ‘real-money’ online interactive gambling to residents of Australia. But as seen, the act did not have much effect.

Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Australia also started overseeing people’s access to gambling websites in 2019. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) had also planned to take action on several offshore foreign gambling websites suspending them completely from being accessed through the ISPs.

Additionally, the gambling policy on the whole in Australia has mostly been under the control of the States rather than the Commonwealth. However, as the situation has kinds gotten out of hands, the Commonwealth has meddled in now and then. the public over the impact of gambling on Australian society has gained a lot of traction lately. The New South Wales (NSW) Office of Responsible Gambling (ORG) at the start of May urged consumers in the Australian state not to use unlicensed overseas gambling sites asserting on the high risk of them losing it.

Disclaimer: This a paid post, and should not be treated as news/advice.

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A Psychology and Journalism graduate, Rakshitha focuses on UK and Indian markets. As a crypto-journalist, her interests lie in blockchain technology adoption across emerging economies.
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