Illegal Gambling Tops $2B in Australia
The illegal gambling market in Australia has grown much quicker than legal betting. Unlawful gambling is expected to reach more than $2 billion by the year 2020, and to double that amount in four years. This information comes from a major study conducted by a regional task force.
In the study, it was estimated that it would cost about $383 million per year in lost tax revenue to reduce illegal gambling. This issue was a prime concern of tax authority and law enforcement efforts to reduce the black economy in Australia, which is currently worth about $50 billion.
There is also a strong connection between money laundering, illegal gambling, and ties to both offshore and domestic agents. This may be an indication that the money is used for organized crime, according to the report.
Reviewing the Report
The report findings are under review by the federal Treasury and the Black Economy Taskforce. The organizations are going over the report to come up with effective strategies that will make it easier to identify tax evasion and illegal betting.
The anti-illegal gambling task force from the Asian Racing Federation conducted an investigation concerning the extent of black market betting in Australia, as well as Singapore, New Zealand, South Korea and South Africa. The research team, including racing investigation representatives, as well as representatives in intelligence operations in NSW and Victoria.
The cost of illegal gambling can be directly measured in lost tax revenue. The cost is also indirectly measured through money laundering and funding for organized crime, as well as match-fixing. Match-fixing can damage the reputation of sporting organizations and make betting less appealing to those who gamble legally.
The report also concluded that illegal sports’ gambling is “as least as big as the legal market.” The total amount that is wagered (minus payouts) ranges from $29 billion to $124 billion. Legal sports betting margins are between $29 billion and $88 billion. An astounding 80% of global sports wagers are believed to be illegal.
The report concludes, “It [illegal betting] is so big because of the proliferation of online betting. Lightly regulated betting tax havens allow online operators to present themselves as ‘licensed’ operators, but the difference in global gambling regulations means as much as 80 per cent of sports bets are illegal.”
The total amount of illegal wagers is believed to be as much as $2.4 trillion. This sum is equal to the gross domestic product of India and is around four times more than the amount wagered by legal bettors.
The margins are comparable because payout rates for illegal gambling are normally higher. This is because illegal gaming operators pay very little tax, if at all.
How Common Is Illegal Betting In Australia?
Although black market gambling is unfortunately rising in popularity in Australia, the percentage of illegal betting is only around 6 percent. This is the smallest percentage in the region. South Korea, on the other hand, has a gambling market where 60% of bets are illegal. This contrast is largely due to the range or anti-sports corruption and anti-illegal gambling laws enforced by country officials.
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission recently issued a warning that money laundering posed a “key risk to Australia” and was the “common element in almost all-serious organized crime.” The Black Economy Taskforce also brought attention to how money laundering and illegal betting adds to the black economy, which is currently worth around $50 billion.
One example of this is Citibet, an illegal gambling exchange. Citibet accepts Australian horse racing bets and may be connected to organized crime in Asian, according to taskforce reports.
The Black Economy Taskforce has had some success with addressing illegal tobacco shipments, and has received support for its efforts to tackle illegal gambling.
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