For months, the Australian government has been implementing restrictions to gambling sites in an attempt to curb problem gambling. Now, reports are surfacing that Australia will soon prohibit these sites operating inside the country from offering any form of sign-up bonuses to entice customers into registering.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that new legislation will soon be introduced that prohibits online gambling sites in Australia from offering free bets, credits, or any other financial inducements for potential customers. This will be a major blow to internet bookmakers in the country which oftentimes depend on these unique promotions to attract new players.
These new restrictions have been agreed upon by various gambling ministers within Australia, and are expected to be the first step in a coming wave of online gambling protection measures set to be introduced over the next several months.
According to a recent report from The Economist, Australians spend more on gambling than any other nation on earth. Many of this money is spent under the table. The upcoming restrictions set to be implemented come after it was revealed that more than AUS $10 billion is spent through illegal betting exchanges in the county.
So what does this mean for gambling sites in Australia?
As a result of these new restrictions, a number of major internet gambling sites have chosen to withdraw their services from Australia. It remains to be seen whether any more will withdraw in the coming months after the new laws come into effect.
For many gambling sites, the sign-up offer ban could be catastrophic for their attempts to gain new customers. Most online gambling websites operating today offer one form of sign-up bonus or another, oftentimes in the form of a first deposit bonus. In other words, a new player will join a gambling site and the first amount of money he deposits into his account will be increased by a set amount.
These restrictions come just weeks before the start of the Spring Racing Carnival, a Melbourne horse racing series that’s said to be the biggest gambling event of the year. There are a number of other major events that attract gamblers scheduled to take place in the near future as well, most notably the 2017 AFL Grand Final.
Despite attempts by the government to curb the progression of online gambling, this industry is showing no signs of slowing down. Nearly AUS $1.4 billion was spent gambling online last year, a 15% increase from the previous year.
Much of this money is spent wagering on sports, with rugby, cricket, and horse racing events attracting a majority of the bets. Online casino gambling is popular as well, as a number of major online casino sites are available within Australia.
There’s no doubt that the new wave of restrictions, in particular, the sign-up bonus ban, will affect gambling website’s ability to attract new players in Australia, but the industry seems poised to survive. As the statistics prove, online gambling inside Australia is continuing to grow in popularity.