Should Australia reconsider its online gambling ban?

In March this year following the outbreak of Covid-19 and the declaration by the World Health Organization of a pandemic, Australia’s land-based casinos, hotels and clubs went into full lockdown. For licensees operating poker machines and other casino games, this resulted in a significant source of revenue disappearing. It also potentially drove patrons who would otherwise have visited land-based venues to illegal online operators. Venues in Australia have been gradually starting to open up, with Victoria originally scheduled to permit poker machines to be switched back on from July 20. Unfortunately, another wave of Covid-19 infections has once again resulted in lockdown in Victoria, but this time for six weeks (or possibly longer) starting on July 9. As a result, venues in Victoria have not re-opened and are back to where they started! This may well happen in other parts of Australia until such time as a vaccine is developed, threatening the...

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