And Now for Something Completely the Same

27 October 2000
The Australian federal government is once again considering a temporary ban on Internet gaming, although sports and race wagering sites would probably not be included in the latest moratorium efforts. A previous effort at enforcing a moratorium on interactive gambling failed following a tie vote October 9 in the Australian Senate. Many feared the 10-month efforts would eventually lead to an outright ban of interactive gambling Down Under.

One Nation Senator Len Harris indicated that the fresh moratorium efforts wouldn't include wagering services, a move that would allow TABs to offer Internet betting, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Additionally, Harris said that sites already possessing a license before May 19 would be allowed to launch their sites. Both of these topics had been hotly debated issues during previous moratorium efforts.

At the same, the Australian Regulators' Working Party reports that a gaming summit yesterday in Darwin ended on a positive note. The group discussed ways the 1997 National Model could be strengthened. Issues covered included methods to foster responsible gaming, including game fairness; player information; access by minors; loss limiting; advertising and privacy. The group is submitting a proposed "Uniform Australian Standards for the Regulation of Interactive Gaming" report to all state and territorial ministers. NT Gaming Minister Tim Baldwin expressed concern that previous efforts in these areas could be undermined by the federal government's ban attempts.

"Using new technology," Baldwin added, "we can provide an unprecedented level of player protection through measures that are not available in any existing gambling product. The outcomes from this meeting will build on Australia's reputation as a world leader in regulating Internet gaming."