Australia gaming stocks fall amid uncertain outlook

The gaming industry in Australia is going through a period of change.
The gaming industry in Australia is going through a period of change.

Gaming companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) are facing a range of challenges, including the expense of trying to enter the US market.

Australia.- Gaming company shares have suffered a hit on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) amid an uncertain outlook. Despite record spending on gambling in some states, share prices have been hampered by the prospects of a US recession and the expense of entering the market.

The Casino Guardian notes that PointsBet, which has a significant presence in Australia but has been aiming to expand in the US sports betting sector, has seen its share price decline by 70 per cent. Meanwhile, BetMakers’ share price has dropped by 60 per cent over the past year while the benchmark Australian Securities Exchange 200 index has dropped by 14 per cent.

While Australia’s domestic gambling and sports betting industry remains competitive, Flutter Entertainment generates about half of the country’s sports betting revenue through its subsidiaries Sportsbet and BetEasy. The two brands took an estimated combined revenue of AU$1.72bn last year.

The Australian gaming industry is in a state of flux owing to changes in gaming regulation in several states. The government of Victoria has introduced changes to combat gambling-related harm and money laundering at Crown Resorts. Casino Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 introduces 12 of 33 Royal Commission recommendations to strengthen harm minimisation measures, combat financial crime, and boost governance and oversight.

New measures include identification checks for anyone claiming winnings of more than AU$1,000 (US$667). Cash usage will also be limited to AU$1,000 in 24 hours. Casino customers must be able to set time and spending limits for gaming activities through a mandatory electronic slot pre-registration system for Australian residents.

The reforms will also require casino boards and senior management be independent and accountable to the casino operator rather than the parent or holding company. Individuals or entities wishing to own more than 5 per cent of a casino operator or its holding company will need approval from the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCC).

Australia to launch inquiry into online gambling

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has launched an inquiry into online gambling and its impact on people with gambling problems. According to a media release from the Parliament of Australia, the committee is taking written submissions by November 11

The committee said it will examine how to better target programs to address online problem gambling to reduce the potential exploitation of at-risk people and protect individuals, families and communities. It will also analyse the quality of and access to online gambling education programmes and the appropriateness of gambling regulations in light of emerging technologies, payment options and products.

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