That’s a pretty big number, isn’t it? That’s a bit over $1.4 billion or R20 billion. Join the article to learn more about how this market operates, and what this means for you.
Australian gambling laws
Australian gambling laws basically replicate those of South Africa. The country has quite a good attitude to gambling as a whole, but it doesn’t treat all gambling equally.
Australia makes land-based gambling legal, and you can probably find a gambling machine in a bar, a club, or a casino. Video slots are accessible outside of casinos, and this is legal in Australia. Sports betting receives the same lenient attitude. It is recognized as a legal activity, and there are dozens of operators in the country.
Much like in South Africa, your winnings are not taxed because gambling is not considered a profession, but a hobby. This means Australians can enjoy their money without paying a single dime to the government, just like South African citizens.
However, online gambling is prohibited here. You can’t legally register an online casino in Australia, and playing at casinos based in other countries is prohibited. This doesn’t stop people from playing.
As it is often the case, people cannot be stopped by the government asking them to behave. Gamblers are not an exception to the rules.
Online gambling is so rampant in Australia that an independent organisation Asian Racing Federation based in Hong Kong estimates that Australians spend AU$2 billion illegally. How big of a number that is?
This roughly corresponds to R20 billion. If you were to take a broad economic perspective, this amount of money is minuscule compared to the GDP. However, this sum alone would be enough to finance South African executive and legislative branches of government for a year.
Taxes collected from this much money could be used to finance one-fourth of all science spendings in SA.
For Australia, it’s a big sum as well. In fact, it’s bigger than total sports betting spending and twice as small as land-based casino spending.
What will the government do?
The report is rather fresh, so the Australian officials didn’t issue a reaction to it. However, it is interesting what it will be.
No government likes losing this much money they could have taxed. Since fining bad actors doesn’t really work, as the Netherlands officials point out, there are only two ways to fight against this. You either ignore it or join it.
Stay tuned to hear the updates on this story.
What does this mean for you?
Australia is one of the closest influential neighbours South Africa has. If Australia acts on the report and starts efforts to legalize online gambling as the Netherlands does, this can be a huge impetus to change.
If that scenario happens, South African officials will be more likely to try and bring online casino revenue into the fold, making the market better for everyone.