Online Gambling Going Down in Oz
Public outrage and constant protestation seem to be falling on deaf ears in Australia as the intended mandatory filtering of internet services providers looks set to start next year.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy commented recently that the initial tests had gone well and that barring any problems the filters will be put into operation next year. As well as filtering online content such as pornography and violence the censors will likely make online gambling a blacklisted industry. This type of censorship would be a disaster for the Australian gambling industry as the market has become one of the most lucrative in the world over the past few years.
Aside from online casinos losing a huge portion of their revenue there are further complaints that the new filters will not only infringe personal freedom but affect internet operating speeds. This raises the concern that even if punters are able to wager their own money in any way they wish then the lag times on some sites could be a nightmare.
This would ultimately cause and even greater loss of custom for the online sites. On the flip side the censorship may benefit the land based casinos of Australia. Indeed, the popularity of gambling will remain unaffected and with punters unable to gamble from the comfort of their own homes then the only other option is to hit one of the bricks and mortar establishments.
Whatever the outcome of this latest bill it seems likely that the debate over the merits of the filter will rage on for many months to come.