This week anti-gambling Australian politician Nick Xenophon attempted to link the popular Nintendo game Mario Kart to gambling, saying that the popular racing title has been used to gamble.
Xenophon is attempting to get Australia to not allow betting on eSports, claiming that their appeal to children could cause them to try and bet on the match results. That feeling is echoed by the Consumer and Business Services Minister, who is trying to feel around the relatively new eSports betting landscape.
Commenting on the matter Consumer and Business Services Minister John Rau said, "Children are particularly vulnerable to the attraction of gambling on sporting contests conducted on the platform of video games. The Government is determined to keep our children cyber safe. We do not want them to be introduced to gambling under the guise of a game."
A statement by Xenophon's office read: Nick Xenophon has called for a national approach to betting on e-sports which will be part of a Senate inquiry he will be pushing for on this issue. Mario Kart is a fantastic game that many millions of people around the world have enjoyed, but there are legitimate questions to ask about a kids game being used as a vehicle for online bookmakers and for gambling."
eSports is a rapidly growing entertainment industry, wherein skilled players at particular video games compete for victory in matches. The "sport" is being covered by major networks such as ESPN. Betting sites have also picked up on the activity, allowing punters the chance to bet on the matches, becoming a popular revenue source for the site.