Australia Looks at Nambling Regulations

28 May 1997

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA -- The Australian Associated Press (AAP) newswire has said that a government working party has developed a set of draft regulations aimed at controlling Internet gaming in Australia. The working party is made up of representatives of Australia's eight state and territory governments.

The proposed regulations would ban Australian-based "home gambling providers" from offering players credit, prohibit individuals under 18 years from playing, and allow problem gamblers to ban themselves.

In a government report, the Australians looking at the issue say, "It is now clear the federal government recognizes that Internet connection providers have only a limited ability to control what sites their clients access and controls that they could . . . put in place are easily beaten," the report stated. That futility apparently extends to the control of foreign Internet gambling services.

The draft regulations are aimed at Australian-based Internet gambling products; networked computer games played for prizes; and telephone gambling using handset number buttons to bet with a remote computer.

The report proposes that the government license providers. It would include such provisions as: requiring that players give proof of identity, age and address before establishing an account; providers would not be able to directly offer credit (but players could use credit cards to fund their gambling; and players who identified themselves as "problem gamblers" would be offered the choice of banning themselves from playing.

Victorian Gaming Minister Roger Hallam said the states and territories would seek feedback from the public and industry representatives before enacting the regulations.