A recent report by The Age states that Apple Australia may be in a bit of hot water when it comes to online gambling regulations. In Australia, the Interactive Gambling Act does not allow online poker for residents. However, Apple is currently offering applications for online poker games such as PokerStars.
It was found that online poker apps are available in the country and players are easily able to download the apps, make a deposit and wager funds. Richard di Natale is the Greens Senator and in favor of gambling reform and he commented on the options by stating:
“We don’t allow online poker in Australia for Australian people under the Interactive Gambling Act…they (Apple) have got an obligation to take down apps that are against Australia law and they should do it.”
Strangely enough, the IGA prohibits any form of online gambling options of the casino variety while sports wagers are widely available online. According to The Age report, the ability to access the downloadable application for PokerStars is there. The Australian iTunes store offers the game and it is very easy to deposit and then join in on cash game options. Apple has yet to comment on this report.
Many online gambling operators operate overseas and are not meeting taxes or regulations of Australia. Some even have offices in the area as well as bank accounts. The Senator is asking the federal government to crack down on such operators as they are making it even easier for residents to access social gambling options. Senator Nick Xenophon is also in agreement.
Xenonphon states that some gambling operators find loopholes in Australian law and offer gaming options that are paid for with real money to gamble but not cash out. Xenophon calls this gambling as well and says if the government is serious about avoiding gambling problems with children then they will close the loophole and stop all access.
Andrew Wilkie is the Chair Independent MP of the gambling reform committee and he believes that instead of allowing such sites to gain a license in Australia, the government needs to ‘tighten’ the rules and then place certain strategies that would keep citizens from ‘accessing the dangerous offshore sites’.
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