Australians Lost Over $7.74B on Poker Machines Last Year
Scrutiny of the Australian gambling sector continues with a new study showing that Australians lost more than AU$11.4bn (US$7.74bn) on slots, or poker machines, in pubs and clubs across five states last year.
The figures compiled by Monash University’s Gambling and Social Determinants Unit showed that in the 30 years to 2019 poker machine losses at hotels and clubs in Australia amounted to AU$308.4bn.
The study revealed that New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and Tasmania lose AU$11.4bn annually, the equivalent of AU$658 for every adult resident. For players using poker machines, the average loss across the five states was AU$3,429 per year.
Annual losses totalled AU$5.4bn in NSW and AU$2.2bn in Victoria. Those amounts decreased by an average of 17% or a total of AU$1.6bn compared to 2018-19 due to pandemic restrictions.
Charles Livingstone, Monash University associate professor, said: “Previous trends are likely to resume after the easing of pandemic restrictions with hotel and club gambling machines total expenditure for 2022-23 likely to exceed AU$13bn across Australia.”
Tim Costello, the chief advocate at the Alliance for Gambling Reform (AGR) has called for the federal government and states to establish a national gambling harm regulator “to reduce the terrible toll gambling is wrecking on Australian society”.
“A regulator can bring the states together, it can progressively reduce the number of poker machines, it can fast-track harm minimisation measures such as digital wallets. At the moment there is no coordination and no will to act,” he added.
NSW Greens Launch Plan to Rein in Online Gambling
The Greens have launched their plan to regulate online gambling at a state and federal level to reduce gambling harms.
The Greens plan to Rein in Online Gambling would:
- Establish a National Independent Gambling Regulator.
- Regulate online gambling to reduce gambling harms with mandatory pre-commitment and a universal exclusion scheme across all platforms.
- Ban all gambling advertising including TV, radio and online ads.
- Regulate gambling in video games and prohibit “loot boxes” being accessible by people under 18.
- End the grip of the gambling industry on politics by banning political donations from the gambling industry restricting politicians and public servants from working for the gambling industry.
Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and gambling harm reduction spokesperson, said: “Online gambling is the fastest growing form of gambling but our governments have failed to keep up. Our plan will rein in online gambling and place restrictions on advertising in an effort to limit the untold damage it is causing.
“Young people are particularly vulnerable to the harms caused by online gambling. Without proper regulation, we are letting the predatory gambling industry addict an entire generation of young people.
“You can gamble online anywhere using your phone. This makes it incredibly difficult for people experiencing gambling harms to reduce their exposure to online gambling.
“The controls in our plan will give people some power over online gambling platforms and make it easier for them to control their spending.
“Gambling advertising has made enjoying sport synonymous with having a punt. Seven out of ten people want to see gambling advertisements banned so that’s exactly what the Greens will do.
“This plan will prohibit gambling advertising anywhere, anytime, in the same way as tobacco advertising was banned years ago.”
Senator Janet Rice, Greens spokesperson for Gambling Reform, said: “We need an independent National Gambling Regulator to reign in the harm caused by this insidious industry.
“The Greens plan will see independent regulatory oversight at a Federal level, crack down on companies that refuse to enforce online gambling restrictions, and stop the gambling industry from exploiting kids through video games and targeted ads.
“It’s no surprise the gambling industry has been allowed to run amok for decades when both Labor and the Liberals accept huge sums of money from corporate donors looking to peddle influence.
“The Greens are fighting to bring integrity back into politics and ban political donations from big corporations. It’s time for all politicians to represent the interests of the people who elected them, not the interests of the donor class and corporate lobbyists.”
ACMA Blocks More Illegal Offshore Gambling and Affiliate Marketing Websites
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has requested that Australian internet service providers (ISPs) block more illegal offshore gambling websites and affiliate-marketing websites.
The latest sites blocked include Casino Jax, Mirax Casino, Wild Fortune Casino, Kosmonaut Casino, Slotozen, Rolling Slots, N1 Bet Casino and No Deposit Kings.
The ACMA undertook investigations that found these sites to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.
Website blocking is one of a range of enforcement options to protect Australians against illegal online gambling. Since the ACMA made its first blocking request, 709 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked. Over 180 illegal services have also pulled out of the Australian market since the ACMA started enforcing new illegal offshore gambling rules in 2017.
Nuvei Announces Next Step in its Global Expansion Plan with Australia Launch
Nuvei Corporation, the Canadian fintech company, announced that businesses operating in Australia can now access its full suite of market-leading payments solutions including acquiring, processing, alternative payment methods and risk management.
Australian businesses operating locally and globally will benefit from Nuvei’s cutting-edge, agile technology that’s built to accelerate their growth. Nuvei’s payments platform enables businesses to optimise operating costs and boost conversion rates by maximising payments acceptance, minimising risk, and enhancing the consumer payment experience. This includes offering all local and relevant payment methods.
Launching in Australia is the latest initiative from Nuvei as it continues to grow its presence and capabilities in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, following its successful launch in Singapore and Hong Kong in 2022.
“Our mission is to help our customers connect with their customers regardless of location, payment method or currency. Launching in Australia is a natural step for our continued expansion in APAC, having already established a strong and growing presence in the region,” Nuvei Chair and CEO Philip Fayer said.
Nuvei is launching in Australia having secured regulatory and scheme licenses to support customers with local acquiring in the country.
“We know the role local acquiring plays in payments optimization, which is why Nuvei’s local acquiring network across the globe is unparalleled. Being able to support merchants in Hong Kong, Singapore, and now Australia with local acquiring solutions demonstrates our commitment to our customers’ growth,” Fayer added.
While debit and credit card payments are the preeminent online payment method for Australian consumers, alternative payment methods (APMs) are also growing in popularity. Nuvei technology enables businesses to accept all the relevant payment methods in the region (including local currencies for cross-border transactions) in addition to card acquiring. This includes New Payments Platform (NPP), Australia’s account-to-account fast payments open access infrastructure, giving consumers even more choice over their payments experience.
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