Responsible Gambling May Be Harder to Sustain While in Lockdown

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People may turn to online gambling as an escape route from boredom while being in lockdown more easily than otherwise, the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation argues in a recent news release on its website.

Online Gambling As a Way of Escapism

The statutory authority created by the Victorian Government and enforced by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation Act 2011 claims there is a heightened risk for people that are forced to stay at home these days, to seek a way to “fill the void” from the lack of their job activities.

Under these circumstances, many may elect to start gambling online to stave off boredom and bring some fun and adrenaline to help push aside the anxiety caused by the uncertainty in the world outside, the Foundation’s clinical advisor, Tony Clarkson, has said in the authority’s official statement. In fact, Australia has seen an estimated 67% increase in traffic to gambling sites. And, according to a study commissioned by the Parliament of Australia and entitled “Waiting for the Wins,” Australians spend estimated AU$20 billion a year on gambling activities.

In this context, the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation argues there are many different scenarios under which online gambling may end up being harmful to the individual.

Solving One Problem While Creating Another

Issuing recommendations to vulnerable gamblers, the state governmental body reminded consumers to be wary of overspending. Another idea put forth by the Foundation is that people might not take the risk of losing money online while gambling as they would in a situation that puts them in a real casino.

It’s worth noting that most operators in Australia provide tools aimed at allowing gamblers to protect themselves against excessive losses such as deposit limits, cool-off periods, and even self-restriction from gaming.

Clarkson warned that online gambling often proves unsatisfactory, pushing into even more gambling and consequently leading to stress because of piling up of financial losses. He paid particular attention to unregulated offshore gambling websites which target Australian citizens but do not hold a recognized regulatory license within the country.

Illegal Gambling within the Remit of the ACMA

The Australian Media and Communications Authority /ACMA/, Australia’s media regulator, has been actively limiting the access to such offshore domains. On another occasion, ACMA reached out to the overseas regulatory authorities of established brands, complaining about said brand continuing to offer an “unlicensed” betting product. This has led to the withdrawal of well-known British sportsbooks and online casinos over the past years.

The next reminder in the Foundation’s statement is that people are drawn in by personalized promotions via all digital channels like e-mail, social media, and even pop-up ads.

These promotional methods are regulated differently in each jurisdiction, as some countries have forbidden gaming operators from targeted campaigns and gambling-related promotions.

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