Australian lawmakers have been busy over the early part of 2011, attempting to revamp their gambling industry. The ideas have been coming fast and furious from legislators who believe they have the answers to lowering the gambling addiction problem that faces the nation.
With all of the ideas that have already surfaced, there is another that is just now becoming a problem. Experts contend that smartphones are contributing to a rise in gambling among the younger generation, and these experts believe that smartphones are a danger in the future.
“Some online gambling games are that you don’t win or lose money,” said Professor Dan Laubman, Director of Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre. “They encourage you to play poker for practice then direct you to an online betting forum that actually have worse odds.”
This practice is no different than in land-based casinos, where gamblers are enticed with free play that can be used on the casino’s slot machines. Once the gambler has exhausted all of their free play, the casinos are hoping they stick their hand into their pockets and pull out cash.
“This is a practice that has been used in casinos around the world for decades,” said Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz. “The smartphones are not presenting any more of an issue than the free play does at land-based casinos. The difference is that the younger generation has much more accessibility to the smartphones.”
Australia Senator Nick Xenophon has been leading the charge against gambling for several years. Xenophon made a deal with the current governmental powers last year that stated the new regime would tackle problem gambling with a much more aggressive nature. The first half of the year has shown that aggressive nature, with several laws being proposed.
The most controversial of the laws would require casinos to install technology on their slot machines that would make gamblers set betting and time limits for their sessions on the machines. The casinos assert that the technology should be optional, not mandatory.