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Clubs Australia Complains about Net Betting

14 April, 2009,  Peter Bowman, Staff writer

Clubs Australia, the organization representing NSW (Australia) poker machine venues, has complained that problem gambling is becoming a significant problem in the internet space in a submission to the NSW Government.

The organization claims that while calls to G-line from gamblers having problems with their terrestrial poker machines have decreased significantly since 2004, average spend on internet gambling is increasing.  They claim G-line calls decreased 11,774 in 2004 to 6595 in 2008 while spend on online gambling has increased over the same period.

"Internet gambling fosters people staying at home gambling on their credit card in a totally unregulated environment, away from any watchful eye, and is in our view the most significant area for the future growth of problem gambling," the submission argues.

While its touching to think that a poker machine operator lobby group is concerned for the welfare of problem gamblers, it is more likely that they are rather concerned about losing revenue.  It is also likely that the submission is a brinkmanship play to protest recent laws to restrict the number of Automatic Teller Machines in pubs and clubs and elements within the government pushing for tougher laws on terrestrial poker machines.

Nevertheless, it offers another clear example of a terrestrial gambling operation once swimming in cash from a captive gambling market, now facing strong competition from high quality alternatives winning their customers over.





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