Australians are very fond of their scratchies and pokies according to recent reports by the German research group Academicon. The current legal status of online casino gambling in Australia is the ideal example of how Governments who do not keep up with market realities, are bound to lose millions of tax revenues from internet gambling to foreign operators.

With online scratchies so popular down under, the forward thinking decision makers need to exploit the huge potential of revenues which everyone agrees are vital for any government.

According to recent estimates there are over 130,000 Australians who play on illegal online poker sites with foreign U.S. operators. These operators are in effect grabbing over $68 million annually from the Australian coffers.

This absurd situation has finally got some politicians thinking in a positive direction. The federal government has recently released recommendations which are aimed at legalizing online poker sites and as a first step in liberalizing internet restrictions.

At first the government would concentrate on online poker to test the waters but many industry experts believe that this will open the online scratchie market as well.

Supporters of legalizing online scratch cards are quick to point out that the game format is considered the least harmful by many in so far as addiction problems go.

There are figures from The University of Hamburg which did research through Dr Fiedler that claim that in 2010 there were over 36,000 people in the online poker database in NSW. These figures are interesting as they come from an Academic institution and not from an interested party or lobbyist.

In another significant report from 2010, a productivity commission investigation bandied around the figure of $800 million which this market generates. A sizeable portion of this massive amount is the $249 million that goes to online poker.

As these figures prove, online gambling is already a major part of many Australians daily routines. We can say with optimism that whether it be scratchies, pokies or sports betting, legalizing gaming down under is a win -win situation for all.

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