It's out and it's not positive. The Australian Senate Committee Report on Moratorium Bill was released yesterday, and the committee's conclusion is that the Interactive Gambling (Moratorium) Bill should proceed. The report also includes a minority report from the ALP Senators (the Labor party) who say a ban on interactive gambling is not technically feasible or necessary. Their stance was echoed in a dissenting report from Australian Democrats, also included in the Committee's report.
Before the committee reached their conclusions, they received 30 written submissions and heard testimony from 23 witnesses during a public hearing on August 25. According to the report, the submissions and evidence basically covered two areas: the affect the moratorium would have on Australian gamblers and the efforts made by state and territory governments to address problem gambling and develop a national regulatory model.
The committee concluded that few Australians would head to offshore sites during the moratorium, during which time the federal government would be able to better analyze problem gambling in Australia. Further, the committee lambasted state and territorial governments' failure to address such issues. Committee members also acknowledged that a moratorium was likely to impact current license holders' business for the short-term, but found that any negative impact was offset "by the need to ensure that Australians are not subject to the potentially adverse effect of increased gambling opportunities." Additionally, the Australian market advantage would continue as the government's efforts would indicate "a commitment by the Commonwealth to offer the highest levels of protection to consumers on the Internet."
Click here to read the Interactive Gambling (Moratorium) Bill 2000 Committee Report.