Betting on eSports is to be banned in South Australia over fears that the betting sector encourages minors to gamble.

Northern Territory is currently the only jurisdiction in Australia that allows such betting to take place.

“Children are particularly vulnerable to the attraction of gambling on sporting contests conducted on the platform of video games,” Consumer and Business Affairs Minister John Rau said.

“The Government is determined to keep our children cyber-safe. We do not want them to be introduced to gambling under the guise of a game.”

Rau referred to the Sourth Australia state policy on ‘Children, Technology and Games, that promised to “encourage the use of games which are fun or educational,” and to “act against activities which lured children into gambling”.

The decision comes after Senator Nick Xenophon, a prominent gambling sector opponent who represents Sourth Australia, recently said he would campaign for eSports to be classified as gambling due to the rise of skins betting.

“This is the Wild West of online gambling that is actually targeting kids. Instead of shooting avatars, parents soon find out that [their children] have shot huge holes through their bank accounts,” said Xenophon the Sydney Morning Herald last month.

The move comes after the recent imposition of 15% point of consumption tax after which online betting rivals have joined forces to launch a national campaign against South Australia’s new “punters tax” appealing to players to lobby local members to kill the budget measure. The bookies have warned that players from South Australia will be the heaviest taxed punters in the world, however, Tom Koutsantonis serving as the Treasurer of South Australia noted that: “The tax doesn’t apply to the bets made, it only applies to net wagering revenue — in other words, the money that is lost to these companies by South Australians.”