2019 is over, but many of the events from the previous year remain. This is especially true of Aussie gambling news, as many items will continue to have an impact during this year and beyond.
This article serves as a recap of the most important stories of the year. Be sure to check back with us throughout 2020, as many of these are bound to crop up once again.
Revised Advertising Codes for New Zealand
Gambling ads in New Zealand are now facing greater scrutiny. This is due to a new code enacted by the Advertising Standards Authority. The main points include:
- Gambling ads cannot target children or young people.
- Gambling ads must be truthful. Chances of winning must be verified, and terms and conditions should be readily available.
- Under the new guidelines, ads cannot condone or encourage harm from gambling.
Woolworths Abandons Gambling
Supermarket giant Woolworths has been offering poker machines to its customers since 2004. However, that all changed thanks to a July announcement that the retailer was getting out of the gambling business. Their 12,000 pokies will be spun off into another company, so expect another major player to appear on the gaming scene in 2020.
Trouble for Crown Resorts
Crown Resorts came under fire after a series of damaging media reports. While Crown has denied the various accusations, the Aussie government is making inquiries.
According to various reports, Crown may be guilty of the following sins:
- Got politicians to bend the rules to make it easier for Chinese high rollers to enter the country.
- Violating various gambling laws in China.
- Arranged for prostitutes to accompany high rollers on their flights to Australia.
- Dealt with crime syndicates who controlled junkets, including those involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.
Casino Canberra Suffers Losses
Since its debut in 1992, Casino Canberra has been a gambling mainstay in the Australian Capital Territory. Unfortunately, that’s starting to change.
Despite multiple efforts, the casino has failed to secure permission to offer poker machines. There was talk of expansion after being purchased by the Aquis Group in 2014, but the proposals were shot down by the ACT government.
For the first six months of 2019, the casino reported a loss of over $2 million. Losses were up 18.4% from the previous year, which is never a good sign.
WPT Debuts in Australia
The World Poker Tour made its debut in Australia in 2019. The event took place at The Star Gold Coast in Queensland, with Hari Varma picking up the win and $274,247 in prize money.
Credit Card Giant Bans Gambling Transactions
Back in July, the Macquarie Group announced that their credit cards could no longer be used for real money gambling transactions. This ban applies to poker, bingo, and even lottery draws. This move drew praise from the Alliance for Gambling Reform, although seasoned punters were no doubt upset.
Self-Exclusion for Online Gamblers
In the near future, Aussie gamblers will be able to exclude themselves from online casinos and sportsbooks. It’s known as the National Self-Exclusion Register, and it’ll be overseen by the Australian Communication and Media Authority. Since the number of problem gamblers across the nation grows each year, this seems like a reasonable step.
Credit Card Ban on Sports Betting
There’s already a ban in place on using credit cards at Australian casinos. However, the same may soon apply to sports betting. The Australian Banking Association is asking members of the community for their input, and this will continue until March 4th. Afterward, the organization will decide whether or not a ban is justified.
Facial Recognition in Australia
Facial recognition technology is already being used in some Aussie casinos and cities. Now, Tabcorp Holdings is about to be added to the list. Beginning in the middle of 2020, more than 400 TAB agencies will be adding the technology to combat underage gambling.
There’s also talk of starting a nationwide database to combat everything from terrorism to identity theft. A bill has been introduced into the House of Representatives, but there’s yet to be a definite decision. Still, it seems like only a matter of time before you’ll have to use such technology to sign up for online casinos and porn sites.
The year 2020 promises to be filled with exciting news from across the nation. In order to keep up, be sure to check in here on a regular basis. Until next time, here’s hoping you have a happy and prosperous new year!