Australian gambling harm preventing organization, Alliance for Gambling Reform, is determined to spearhead another push for the government to place a ban on gambling advertising, outlaw inducements to gamble and ban credit cards for online gambling, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The fresh call for a federal government crackdown on gambling from the harm-preventing organization is stemming from several second quarter financial reports by corporate bookmakers which showed an exceptionally good performance in their Australian operations for the months between April and June.
A Series of Corporate Reports Used as Hard Proof
UK-based GVC Holdings outlined in their report last month that their Australian business exceeded expectations posting a 76% growth for the second quarter, and accounting for almost half of the group’s total sports business revenue.
Australian-based sports book operator PointsBet also posted a huge jump in revenue for the period between April and June, 330% compared to the same period last year, reaching AUD$32 million for the quarter.
The Alliance for Gambling Reform used the corporate financial data to state that it was the gambling addiction of Australians foreign gaming operators took advantage of to generate huge profits, outlining the dangers that lie behind online gambling.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic some people are turning to gambling online and may not realise how dangerous it can be.”Tim Costello, Chief Advocate, Alliance for Gambling Reform
The alliance outlined the excessive amount of gambling-related ads during commercial breaks of even family shows, pointing out the financial data as proof of this thesis. And the alliance is not the only concerned organization, as in May Centre Alliance senator Stirling Griff and Greens senator Rachel Siewert asked for a moratorium on gambling advertisements as a protection measure for vulnerable people during the pandemic.
Spending on online gambling has risen, separate reports from the National Australia Bank (NAB) and the Australian Institute of Criminology showed. NAB’s economics team of internal data on consumer spending and payments made to merchants found out gambling expenditure in June jumped by more than 50% compared to the start of the year, while the institute outlined the proportion of online gamblers who had increased their spending grew from 20% in March to 33% in April. The institute pointed out to the profile of the typical spender, being a male under 40 for both March and April, while for April the likelihood of a higher gambling spending is particularly related to a couple living with children.
Reports of people who used their savings from the federal government’s early release program for online wagering further fueled the hypothesis that gambling increased through exploiting gambling addiction behavior of Australian people. This hypothesis, on purpose or not, discounts one important detail and prompted Brent Jackson, CEO of Responsible Wagering Australia, the representative body for online bookmakers, to urge caution in the interpretation of data.
“Without context people assume that increases in online gambling during COVID automatically mean an increase in overall gambling activity. With over-the-counter betting and gambling outlets closed by COVID restrictions, people have migrated to online platforms, as with nearly every retail business in the country.”Brent Jackson, CEO, Responsible Wagering Australia