DIA Under Fire Over Online Gambling Priorities

casino chips and dice
The public consultation survey launched by New Zealand’s Department of Inland Affairs has attracted its fair share of criticism.  The country recently launched a public consultation initiative aimed at determining the general opinion regarding the legalisation of a full-blown local online gambling industry.

Online gambling in the country is currently extremely limited from a legal point of view, with only two state-managed bodies permitted to offer any form of online gaming entertainment whatsoever, namely TAB and Lotto NZ. A reform to the country’s outdated 2003 Remote Gambling Bill is expected to revolutionise the local gambling industry and generate millions of dollars in new income. But despite the anticipated benefits, there are some that are of a strong opinion that the department has not considered all of the relevant factors and consequences associated with what it proposes to achieve.

Multiple Concerns Voiced

The proposal is in fact being slammed from all sides. Mental health activists are of the belief that government is more concerned with making money than with the well being of its citizens, and digital activists are worried about the fact that one of the proposed changes involves allowing more local players into the field but at same time blocking international operators by means of geo-location services.

Even so, New Zealand’s Ministry of Health has declared that it would consider supporting a move that would allow for foreign operator involvement. The ministry has said that outside involvement doesn’t appear to imply elevated negative consequences and certainly no more than what would be posed by keeping the industry exclusively local.

More Sides To The Story

The Ministry of Health has furthermore confirmed that the number of players who have actually complained about online gambling being exceptionally addictive and a significant problem due to instant availability, is significantly low. But anti-gambling, ever ready with a counter argument, are of the conviction that this is only true because of the fact that the industry is relatively new.

Local Internet service providers who do not believe that effectively blocking access to international operator sites will ever be 100% fool proof have also raised concerns. The general feeling among those who harbour strong feelings about the coming changes and either way, is that a more considerate and elaborate approach will have to be adopted if the process is going to be a success.