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Poker Players Account For 60% Of Australia's Online Gaming Revenue

Posted at 08:00 2012-07-19 by Barry Gallagher

Poker has been in the news of late and Barry Gallagher decided to take a look at what has been said about our beautiful game.

IBISWorld, Australia’s largest provider of industry based research, recently released a report estimating the growth in online gambling for 2012 in the Australia-Asia market. According to this report, the industry as a whole is expected to grow around 3.3% over the year.

In Australia sports betting has seen a large increase in online gaming profits in the area. However, according to the report poker is generating 60% of total Australian gaming revenue. Thanks the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001, which makes it illegal for gambling companies to offer certain interactive services to Australian residents, this revenue is largely missed by Australian operators and therefore the government.

Please be aware that the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 does not make it illegal for Australian residents to access these outlawed products; the act is solely focused on the gambling companies themselves.

Research published by Academicon, a German research group, stated that in 2010 around 130,000 Australians played online poker. This activity saw Australian’s spend an estimated $249 million and saw US-based operators take in revenues of $68 million according to the Sydney Morning Herald. With there being no US-based operators as such we can only assume the report was referring to online poker sites who allowed US-based players.

The data that came from Ingo Fiedler of the University of Hamburg claimed that poker players are most likely to play for small stakes and only occasionally; often just playing on one table at a time. We recently reported that moves are afoot in Australia to regulate online poker and in-play sports betting. The government expressed its concern that revenue was been missed out on with online poker expected to be given a five year trial period.

There are interesting times ahead in the Australian regulatory environment with regards to online poker. We can only await the next move and hope the Canberra government avoid moving in direction the likes of Spain, France and other have decided upon and fully ring-fence the online games.

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