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Usne's picture
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26 April 2011 - 4:37pm

Who is Really the Culprit in Online Gambling Illegal Activity?

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Hi CL Members,

I recently read about senator Nick Xenophon of Australia. He has come up with a what he thinks is a brilliant idea to crack down on illegal internet gambling which is prohibited in Australia.

Imagine this, he wants to legalize chargebacks on credit card transactions to online gambling sites. So another words gamblers can go play and if they lose, no problem just pick up the phone and make a charge back to your credit card.

Sure it will put players on their black list at these casinos real quick but is this really the answer? Isn't that down right illegal in itself? What is amazing to me is that this morally and unethical act could very well be accepted as legal!

I think this world is going to hell in a hand bag and we thank our world leaders. Have they gone mad? There must be something in that holier than thou water they are drinking at these congressional meetings.


CL-Ed's picture
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26 April 2011 - 10:56pm

Ah yes Nick Xenophon. This guy entered politics as an independent one-issue campaigner - "No pokies". (Pokies are what Australians call slot machines, it's short for poker machines). Due to the results of the last few elections he has actually been able to wield enormous power because he held the balance of power in the Senate with neither party able to pass or block a law without his support.

The thing is, he has a lot of good ideas and principles on loads of issues except this one. For example he has called out Scientology for being a fraud, supported Australia signing the Kyoto protocol, and done some other good things for his state and environmental causes. But In this case, while I think he has good intentions, he is just totally and utterly blinkered and unable/unwilling to engage in a reasonable conversation about gambling. Everything is doom and gloom, everyone who ever gambled is an addict, it's all a conspiracy designed to steal the money of the poor, stupid gamblers etc etc ad nauseum.

One thing he is right about though - poker machines in the pubs and clubs in Australia are a bad game to play. Payout rates can be in the low 80s which, compared to online slots which payout around 95% on average, makes them complete money munchers. Put it this way - I won't play them!

This latest statement is actually a smart one when you consider his perspective. He's a lawyer, and he knows that Australian law says it's illegal for an online casino to allow an Australian to play there. But it's not illegal for the player to play, and the casinos aren't in Australia, so Australian law is irrelevant for most of them unless they have some sort of operation here (like Betfair or Centrebet). So he is trying to put doubt in the mind of casinos about accepting Australian players because he knows that legally he is powerless.

But as we have discussed in other threads here, making something illegal or trying to hide it won't help. Yes, some people have gambling problems and they need help. But pushing things underground just means they are less likely to get the help they need. Because one thing is for sure, no law or prohibition ever stopped an addict from getting their fix no matter what it is they are addicted to.

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