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Report of the Law Reform Committee on Online Gaming and Singapore

electronic and non-electronic. The prohibition does not extend to advertisements published in overseas media, such as magazines that are published overseas, or websites that are aimed at non-Australian audiences.

(4)

Effectiveness of the IGA

121

The effectiveness of the IGA’s targeted prohibition approach has been mixed.

The “Review of the Operation of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 Report”139 found that:

    • 121.1

      The introduction of the IGA had the effect of, and was associated with, the closure of all but one interactive gaming operator licensed in Australia and the minimal use of offshore gaming services by Australian consumers. Industry reports also confirm that the IGA had a substantial effect in curtailing the provision of gambling services in Australia.

    • 121.2

      Relatively few Australians are engaging in Internet gaming activities prohibited under the IGA, with only 18,000 Australian adults using the Internet to gamble for money on gaming services in the 12 months to April 2003. Although surveys have indicated growth in the overall consumption of Internet gambling services by Australians in the four years since the publication of “Australian Gambling Industries”, the majority of the growth has been in legal sports wagering services.

122

However, commentators have criticised the actual effectiveness of the IGA for

several reasons, including the following:

122.1 The targeted prohibition approach under the IGA allows Australians to access any foreign-based sites that have not yet been the subject of the complaints scheme. 140

122.2 The enforcement of the IGA is questionable, particularly in view of the fact that the methods of filtering Internet content are not 100% effective in blocking access to online gambling sites by Australians. Australians can use other methods to circumvent the blocking mechanisms, such as calling an overseas service provider from 141

139

Australian Government Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Review of the Operation of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 Report (July 2004).

140

See A Essa, “The Prohibition of Online-Casinos in Australia: Is it Working” 4 Queensland U Tech L & Just J 88.

141

See A Essa, “The Prohibition of Online-Casinos in Australia: Is it Working” 4 Queensland U Tech L & Just J 88.

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