The gambling industry in Australia was established with the entrance of new settlers in Australia and it soon became a leisure activity among various social groups. This report discusses the growth of internet gambling in Australian economy and what are the implications of this growth on Australian government and harm minimisation in Australia. …
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Based on the discussion and analysis, it has been analyzed that Australia has become one the major countries in online gambling industry. The economic benefits which gambling industry has been providing to Australia stopped the government to pursue the effective harm minimisation programs. Today, online gambling has increased the concerns for Australian regulators because of the increasing problem gambling, crime rate etc. Even the harm minimisation programs have been unsuccessful to curb the growth of increasing internet gambling. It can be projected based on the current growth of internet gambling that soon gambling will become the largest industry of Australia and concerns will further increase. If Australian government pursues stricter legislative framework and other strategies to stop the growth of internet gambling, it forgoes the huge economic benefits. If Australian government keeps pursuing the current strategies then current growth will keep its pace. On the other hand, if Australian government introduces more flexible policies, then economic issues can increase however, the government can enjoy huge influx of revenues. Therefore, in which direction Australian government should go, completely depends on the long-term economic strategies of the government. However, one important thing which this research essay has highlighted is that growing online gambling does have significant implications for Australian government and harm minimisation. In the beginning, all original forms of gambling were prohibited however, gradually all of them were legalised. The online gambling started in Australia in 1996 in the Northern Territory and in 2001, when the federal government legalised internet gambling, Interactive Gambling Act 2001 was introduced. (Hsu, 2006). Since then gambling industry of Australia is expanding and growing very rapidly and it has even created a lot of challenges for the Australian economy. What Australian Government has been Doing to Control Online Gambling in Past? Internet gambling has established new challenges for the regulators because unlike traditional casinos, the online gambling websites cannot be closed (Schwarz, 1999). Therefore, because of the nature of online gambling, it could be only controlled through government regulations. Even after legalising gambling, Australian Government has always remained concerned to monitor and control online and traditional gambling. The Australian Government has taken the regulatory responsibility of online gaming and according to Interactive Gambling Act 2001, government has made domicile online gaming site illegal for the Australian residents and these websites only target the oversees community. However, despite the control through regulations and legislations, Australian Government is facing problems in control the internet gambling market in Australia (Fabiansson, 2010). Australian Gambling Regulation controls gambling in Australia. With the growing online gambling, Australian Government introduced Australian Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) 2001 which bans online gambling in Australia. According to this Act, offering interactive gambling service to an individual physically present in Australia is an offense. If a person commits this offence, he is subject to a penalty of $220,000 per day if he offers services to individuals and penalty of $1.1 million per day if he serves corporate bodies. Moreover, online wagering and lotteries are not prohibited (Humphrey, 2008). The online gambling costs are increasing and to minimise harm from gambling activities, harm minimisation strategies are in place. To achieve harm minimisation, Australian Government has adopted three strategies; first, through direct regulation of internet gambling sites; second, covering online gambling within the broader gambling regulation framework; third, achieving harm minimisation through non-regulatory approaches (FAHCSIA, 2009). Growth in Online Gambling in Australia The Australian economy realised the growing trends in traditional and internet gambling with the increase in household spending on gambling. With the expansion of gambling in Australia, the proportion of money spent on gambling per household also increased from 1.7 percent in 1982-1983 to 3.2 percent in 1997-1998 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2000). In 2002-2003, around Australian $18.54 million were spent on internet gambling in Austr
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