Australian online gamblers have started to dig deep into their pockets to find money with which to pay their gambling debts. From 17th February this year, Australian bookmakers will be no longer allowed to offer sign-up bonuses or lines of credit to customers. The sweeping reforms aim at curbing problem gambling as many Australians are enslaved into a gambling habit. As if the credit betting ban is not enough, many Australian states are examining the opportunity to introduce a point-of-consumption tax to the online gambling market.
As part of the gambling reforms, the government announced that all punters should clear their debts before the new regulations come into force. The introduction of the new gambling regulations has produced the expected effect of millionaire gamblers selling shares or other assets in an attempt to clear their debts.
Many gamblers have less than a month to find money to cover their gambling debts. According to an unnamed industry source, many of the gamblers will find themselves unable to meet the deadline set by the government. The same source explained that many bookies offered huge sign-up bonuses of as much as $100 to all of their customers. That is the reason for the Australian government to tighten the rules.
It is important to note that gamblers whose accounts are linked to their credit cards have no reasons to fear the upcoming reforms. Human Services Minister Michael Keenan commented that the measures are reasonable. He backed up his statement with a real case, in which a bookmaker offered one of his customers a credit of $80,000. The punter lost everything in one week. The bookmaker tried to seize his house to compensate the money.
Bookmakers Rush Through the Doors Due to New Regulations
The overhaul of the existing legislative framework scared off licensed bookmakers, who are currently selling shares. A week ago, the leading British gambling operator William Hill made a bombshell revelation. The company announced that it is considering to sell its Australian business and exit the market. Australian business magnate James Packer is also selling his 62% in the Australian online sports betting operator CrownBet to its founder, Matthew Tripp. The deal is expected to be completed later this month.
Australia has long been an attractive destination for online gambling operators as Australians are the world’s biggest gamblers. However, the new regulations are to drastically change the online gambling landscape in the country. Industry insiders believe that the adoption of a point-of-consumption tax together and a credit betting ban is to trigger a massive exodus of operators. The gambling industry has witnessed similar scenarios of regulators imposing too strict rules. Such actions have usually turned gambling lucrative gambling markets into highly unattractive ones.