Illegal gambling market to cross A$2 Billion by 2020 in Australia
In a recent news report, a Hong Kong anti illegal betting unit which is part of the Asian Racing Federation found that Australia’s illegal betting market will top A$2 billion by 2020, on the extent of illegal betting in jurisdictions in the region and in other parts of the world. The report included information about Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and South Africa.
According to the report’s findings, which were cited by local news outlet The Australian Financial Review, Australia annually loses more than A$380 million in betting tax revenue to the thriving illegal betting market. The Asian Racing Federation’s task force also said in its report that there are strong links between black market betting and money laundering and organized crime and Australia looks for ways to tackle illegal gambling.
Australia’s Treasury and the Black Economy Taskforce are currently reviewing the report’s findings to help improve and enhance strategies for identifying and combating illegal betting activities.
According to the results from the recently conducted investigation, Australia’s Illegal Betting Market accounts for 6% of the nation’s whole wagering market. The federal government approved in the summer of 2017 amendments in the country’s gambling law that closed loopholes long exploited by offshore operators and effectively banned the provision of online casino games to Australian gamblers.
Online sports betting remained legal under the country’s revised regulations. However, many offshore operators have found ways around and have been targeting local players with online casino offering, despite the ban, or with sports betting products without holding a license from any Australian state or territory, thus avoiding paying taxes to local governments.
Australia to find ways to combat illegal gambling
The Black Economy Taskforce has previously highlighted the link between the nation’s illegal betting industry and money laundering and how these fuel Australia’s A$50-billion black economy. The unit has also discovered links between illegal betting and organized crime in the region.
The taskforce was previously charged with dealing with illegal tobacco shipments. It has now presented various recommendations for how to tackle illegal betting and most of those recommendations have received support.
The unit has recommended that online service providers be required to block illegal offshore gambling websites. Also banks should be encouraged to prevent gambling-related transactions to illegal betting sites.
Members of the unit also believe that betting data should be analyzed thoroughly so that potential links between betting websites and criminal networks are uncovered. Also policies and actions need to be undertaken so that betting is prevented from being used for tax evasion, money laundering, and other finance crimes. (inputs from various news sources)