If you were to type the above title or something similar into Google, you would end up with many differing opinions on the topic of online gambling and the gambling industry in general. The Government have been discussing legislation to have online betting and casinos made illegal for quite some time now. This is puzzling to many voters as gambling is a personal choice, just like smoking cigarettes or drinking a beer. Even though smoking and drinking can be dangerous and lead to illness or addiction, so can gambling. People become addicted to gambling and struggle financially with debt because of it.
Do the Government and lobbyists trying to get online gambling made illegal really think that this will cut down on the amount of people becoming addicted and improve the quality of more people’s lives? Many people think not. The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott declared before the 2013 Election that he would make online gambling illegal. The question on many people’s lips’ is why? Many voters are really tired of the Nanny state mentality the Government seem to believe in. This is something that might not be as popular as the politicians believe.
Many Australian’s love going to the races, or the club and having a bet or playing Keno or the poker machines. Well; these days this can all be done online and because most of us have taken to technology like ducks to water, online casinos and online poker machines are very popular. There are sites where no money has to change hands, you just play for fun. Some of these sites are applications on Facebook and these sites alone are addictive, even though no real money is won or lost. It is easy to see how one might get addicted to gambling, however kids get addicted to video games. This is not harmful, except that it is not healthy to sit in front of the TV all day long. The point is; that sensible people know when to stop, despite how much they love playing the pokies games online.
Facebook users are well aware of the growing popularity of these sites. Ask anyone on Facebook if they play the online pokies and they will say yes, and a great many more will admit to only using Facebook for this purpose. The online casino games on Facebook started to take off about five years ago. If you are a Facebook user then you will have received invitation from your friends to play these games. There are now thousands of online casino sites and the membership on these sites is growing everyday.
Tony Abbott may have stated during the election campaign that online casino games and poker games will be banned in this country. It now seems clear to the voters that now, almost fourteen months since the election that perhaps The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott was saying what he figured the voters wanted to hear. It may not come down to election promises at all. The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott’s statement regarding the banning of online gambling could be personal to him or he may not like any type of gambling because of religious reasons.
The Labour Party have stated that they would legalise online poker games and possibly make online casino’s illegal. But the voters really cannot place too much stock in those comments as The Green’s Party would never let the Labour Party get away with it. This in part is the opinion of some voters who commented on various articles about this issue. Almost 14 months ago, the now Prime Minister made many promises and won the election in September 2013 based on fact that the previous Government lied about the Carbon Tax. But fourteen months on and Australia’s Prime Minister and his cabinet have now broken many promises and told a few lies too. Given that all politicians lie and embellish the truth to make themselves look good, it is a fair statement that the Australian public cannot believe much of what either Government claim or promise. So it’s difficult to figure out whether the Coalition and the Labour Party are conflicted about online gambling or not.
Comments on media articles from the public would have us believe that the voters are split on this issue too. Reading the letters to the editor in the newspaper and comments on social media by the people of Australia shows that people have many different opinions. Their opinions and feelings seem to be pretty genuine. People feel that the Government always have an agenda and if the Coalition remain in power, online gambling will be here to stay; despite what some journalists believe.
Australia is in massive debt according to the Treasurer, Joe Hockey and this begs the question as to why would our Government abolish online casinos or online pokies sites, especially when all profits from the house would be taxed and this would help Australia’s bottom line. Financially; it makes sense to keep online gambling legal. Given the huge amount of people who enjoy playing the pokies and playing casino games, this is yet another reason that Australia’s bottom line would benefit from the taxes our Government would collect.
Some may feel that the public have an agenda too. They probably do, but mostly those who have shared their feelings on this issue have good intentions. Social workers and anti-gambling groups want to do more to help people who have an addiction to poker machines. Some of these groups claim that online gambling will make it worse for gamblers with addictions to stay clear of playing poker machines as the internet will make it too easy for an addict to play. Put simply, these groups claim that if they carry a Smart Phone, then it is just a matter of time before a gambling addict slips and logs into an online gaming or pokie site.
The other side to this is that an addicted gambler makes a choice to gamble. Gamblers Anonymous (GA) was set up to help addicted gamblers, just like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). If the temptation to log into an online poker machine site, then it is within their power to head to a meeting. No one is against helping someone who is addicted to the pokies, however there are many people who are able to play a poker machine, or go to the casino and stay with the limits of their budget.
Some people actually play poker for a living. There are a few people on Facebook who discuss this type of thing with other gamblers. When online poker playing was banned in the US, one such person decided to move overseas to a country where it is legal to gamble online. One comment in an article from the ABC confirmed that this is indeed quite true. If online poker is someone’s bread and butter, is it really fair to take that away? The opinion shared by this person was that this was the Nanny state in action again and our Government are basically telling us that we cannot be responsible, sensible and live our live’s without interference from a piece of legislation telling Australian’s what we should and should not do. Many readers online commented that they feel as though our politicians think we are stupid idiots and some people went as far as to claim that Australia is just not sticking by the values of democracy.
The claim that our Government just do not care about democracy is really starting to seem as though it is the truth. For those who do not want online casinos, online pokies and poker games to be banned probably have nothing to worry about for at least another two years. There is just too much drama going on in Australia at the moment. Some voters have a sneaking suspicion that the Prime Minister has forgotten all about this election promise. And the chances are high that he did not mean what he said in the first place.