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Report of the Law Reform Committee on Online Gaming and Singapore

advertising of gambling to include those who participate in or facilitate such activities. Advertising includes entering into arrangements such as sponsorship or brand-sharing agreements.

(7)

Online gambling industry and observations

112

The remote gambling market in UK was valued by the Gambling Commission

at £896m in 2009.131 The Gambling Commission has observed that the majority of the gambling sites accessible to British citizens are regulated overseas. In many cases, the operator is licensed by the Gambling Commission for remote betting but its remote casino and poker operations are licensed overseas.

C.

Australia

(1)

Background

113

In December

1999,

the

Productivity

Commission,

an

independent

Commonwealth agency, released a report entitled “Australian Gambling Industries”. One of the key findings in this report was that the availability of gambling services on the Internet greatly facilitates the accessibility of gambling, and has the potential to exacerbate problem gambling.

114

As a consequence, the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (“IGA”) was passed in

Australia. The IGA came into operation in August 2001. The IGA aims to restrict Australian access to interactive gambling services. The Australian Government chose a targeted prohibition approach, rather than regulation (as was the case in the UK), for

the following reasons:

132

  • (a)

    increased accessibility to gambling services aggravates problem gambling;

  • (b)

    there is a high social cost of gambling addiction, including effects on families and welfare;

  • (c)

    Australia already has one of the highest per-capita gambling industries in the world;

  • (d)

    Australia is one of the top four countries in the world in terms of per-capita Internet connections. Statistics reveal that Australians are

131 132

Gambling Commission, Industry Statistics 2008/2009, October 2009.

IGA Explanatory Memorandum, available at http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/bill_em/igb2001203/ memo2.html.

32

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