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Is there any hope for gambling reform in a new Australian parliament?

08 July 2016, 16:48 CET

Many people today are asking the question: Is there any hope for gambling reform in a new Australian parliament? It seems like only yesterday that the Gillard government was trying to go in the opposite direction in order to curtail gambling as much as possible and to make it harder for the responsible gamblers to practice their hobbies. Ever since 2015, people in Australia have been doing what they could in order to make gambling reform work for the gamblers themselves and not for the people who are interested in inciting fear about gamblers of all kinds.

gamblingPublic opinion about gambling in Australia certainly varies. Over eighty percent of Australian adults do some form of gambling at least some times, so this is certainly a gambling culture. However, over seventy percent of Australian adults also believe that gambling needs to be controlled more thoroughly, at least according to some studies. It is hard to say how this disconnect works. Some of these gamblers might feel guilty about their gambling even though they do it. Some people might be responsible gamblers themselves, but they are aware of the people who take gambling too far and they want to be able to help them, and want to see gambling get more tightly controlled as a result. People are ultimately seeking a wide range of different objectives when people ask the question: is there any hope for gambling reform in a new Australian parliament?

There is no doubt that the gambling industry does have a lot of power in Australia. When industries develop a level of power that puts even the governments themselves on notice, it can be difficult to say who is going to win. Gambling does bring in a lot of revenue, which does ultimately help the government and which can ultimately help society. Governments that try to tax gambling are often going to maintain the status quo with gambling, since it will quickly become an important source of revenue for them.

There is some talk of merely limiting the amount of money that people can bet, particularly when it comes to Australian pokies. This could be a move that will start to make things easier for the people who are trying to be responsible gamblers. However, it could also lead to the industry becoming so tightly regulated that it is more difficult for the Australian market to expand. It is difficult to see how the reforms are going to shape up at this point, and whether they are ultimately going to benefit everyone involved or only a few interested parties. The regular visitors to the Pokiespedia website should not count on anything at present.

It should be noted that online gambling today is international. There is only so much that Australian governments can do about curtailing gambling in their own societies when gambling is something that is uniting societies all over the world. People will usually find a way to gamble online today in a world of websites like Pokiespedia. This is a situation that will be tough to regulate either way.

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