Australia’s online gambling operation is still in a state of pandemic acceleration, though its rise in recent weeks has taken a little bit of a hit.
New data published this week by economic analysts AlphaBeta and credit bureau Illion show Australian online gambling transactions were up 60 percent from a average week in the week ending April 19. Only six economic categories posted growth, because expenditure per person was 14 percent below natural rates.
These figures were grabbed by the usual suspects to renew their appeal to put online gambling in the public pillory, but it is worth noting that the growth figure was below Illion’s 67 percent rate recorded in the week ending March 29. Online gambling outperformed all growth sectors in the March results but was only able to handle third-place behind ‘furniture & office’ (+66 percent) and ‘food delivery’ (+156 percent) in April.
If something can sound the alarm, it is the rise in food distribution that was up on the March chart to a comparatively paltry 63 percent. Given that most food orders are usually not high on the health scale, why isn’t Australia’s Chicken Littles crying about the impending increase in sales of heart disease, diabetes and XXL T-shirt size?
The authorities are also worried that this increase of online gaming does not go to the correct sites, i.e. those from which the Aussie governments collect taxes and fees. On Thursday, the New South Wales Office of Responsible Gambling (ORG) released a alert that carried the ominous title of “illegal overseas gambling sites not worth the risk.” ORG Manager Natalie Wright expressed concern that the mass closure of Australian casinos and video poker (pokies) venues could cause local people to check out the wide range of internationally licenced gambling sites that cater for the gambling.
Wright cautioned that some of these foreign sites “look legitimate, and they even look like they are Australian by using images such as the Australian flag and native animals.” Sort of like how Australian-licensed gambling sites look legal at first glance, but consumers soon notice the distinct lack of online casino, poker and in-play sports betting choices.
Notwithstanding that, Wright urged Aussies who might consider a site offering Australians a wider range of choices to report the excessively accommodating thugs to the Australian Communications & Media Authority so that their domain could be safely transferred to the memory hole.