Added: August 13, 2015
Ask just about any Aussie online casino player about the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 and what do you suppose you will hear? Chances are the person you are talking to may have heard something or the other about this so-called law. But as far as what it does or doesn’t do? Not so much.
This is all coming to a head with the rapid and seemingly unstoppable advance of modern technology. Consider the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001. By now, this law looks ancient. When the law was put onto the books Facebook didn’t exist and Google was only just beginning to look like the search engine of choice. The issue was recently brought to the forefront after a ground breaking research project.
This project, commissioned by none other than Gambling Research Australia was conducted by Dr. Sally Gainsbury. Dr Gainsbury is a senior lecturer at Southern Cross University. Explaining her most recent project, Dr. Gainsbury had this to say:”…it’s looking at how social media, gaming and gambling are all converging. It’s really transforming the nature of gambling in Australia.
You see the concern (stated or otherwise) is that the incredible rise of the new social games especially those geared at teenagers and younger children will lead to future gambling problems. What some see as a potential problem is the real and undisputed fact that the free and online and mobile app games oftentimes are designed around gambling techniques.
For example, social online casino games that most clearly resemble real world online slot machine games are in fact some of the most popular games. One potential problem with this as some see the matter is that there is no age restriction on these social casino games. In other words, in some respects there looks to be a convergence of social games and online casino games.
You can see where some may be concerned. In fact take a look at what Senator Nick Xenophon had to say: “I don’t want the kids of today to become the problem gamblers of tomorrow”.
Aha, there you go. So on one hand there is an antiquated Interactive Gambling Act that has long ago been bypassed by modern technology. On the other hand, there is a growing consensus that social gaming and online gaming are starting to look very similar.
The report by Dr. Gainsbury is scheduled to soon be released by the federal government. Perhaps at that time, government officials may decide it is past time to revamp the Interactive Gambling Act so that it more reflects the modern era.
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