Lessons for Australia from the UK’s Online Gambling Regulations
Oliver Moore / 28 January 2021

Lessons for Australia from the UK’s Online Gambling Regulations

Australians are some of the most active gamblers globally, with about 80% of mature citizens indulging in some form of gambling. The industry is worth almost a billion dollars and still enjoys a global reach extending to Asia and several North American parts.

Despite Australia’s gambling industry’s success, market shareholders are vulnerable due to its lack of regulations. The sector misses out on golden opportunities that nations such as the UK now reserve.

A Booming Industry

Some of the allure for setting up as a British operator stems from the region’s placement on the frontline of gaming technology. The UK sits on the frontline in tech adaptation, software development, and business strategy while showing a strong affinity for adaptability and regulation. Growing industries such as Australia have yet to establish a foothold on these crucial elements.

Below Adequate

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) issued warnings to its operators about taking advantage of players during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown period. Its fines increased by over 50% to that of 2018-2019, with defaulters having to cough up about €30 million. The UKGC is also set to review its Gambling Act of 2005, with the body set to beef up its goal to protect gamblers and maintain a healthy power balance between them and operators.

In contrast, Australia struggles to achieve this feat using its current regulations. The scales tip favourably towards the land-based casinos under the Gambling Act of 2001. Under this law, there’s a significant restriction on the gambling options local and off-shore operators can offer to players.

Unfortunately, its governing body lacks the resources to properly enforce this rule, with many operators violating them and taking advantage of gamblers. The Australian government needs to update its laws to reflect the current situation while providing the legislation more enforcing power to maintain a healthy power dynamic in the gambling industry.