Aussie Legislation Would Ban Interactive TV Bets

3 June 2008

Bruce Billson, the opposition communications spokesman in Australia, has introduced a private member's bill seeking to ban interactive television betting in the country.

"This new technology brings a potentially insidious form of gambling into people's lounge rooms, away from the observation of venues that may have a duty of care to their patrons," Billson told The Australian.

The specific target of Billson's Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2008 is a service launched in April allowing Foxtel subscribers in Victoria to place bets with TAB's Sky Racing Active simply by using their television's remote control.

"This private member's bill was motivated by the failure of the Rudd Labor Government to act to stop an insidious new form of pay-TV gambling," Billson said in a statement today.

"It seeks to prohibit the roll-out of new gambling technology in the form of subscription television based interactive gambling (and) rejects the suggestion by proponents and gambling revenue-addicted state Labor governments that this new form of gambling is no big deal."

Billson's legislation also asks the federal government to review the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.