Lasseters Online, Australia's only operational, regulated online casino, pledges to stay put in Alice Springs and continue offering international online gambling despite Australia's threat to ban it.
Peter Bridge, the company's managing director, sees no reason for Lasseters to stop offering a legal, licensed service to international markets. Lasseters has offered cash play to players around the world and Australians in the southern region of the Northern Territory since April 1999.
"The Interactive Gambling Bill 2001 will have no effect on Lasseters," Bridge said. "Our 37 Australian cash players represent only a small number of the more than 160,000 players we have serviced globally."
Australian players contributed 0.2 percent to this financial year's $14.3 million in revenue for Lasseters Online.
"We are confident that our high rate of international player growth will quickly replace the Australian contribution," Bridge said.
He also said Lasseters is committed to completing its merger with Gocorp Limited and building the merged entity's global operations. Bridge expressed concern, however, that some senators have proposed cutting offshore services from Australian online casinos. International markets compose 96 percent of Lasseters' potential player base.
"A ban on all services offered by Australian online casinos will just deliver Australians a huge compensation bill for the business investment and revenue lost," Bridge said. "It will do nothing to protect Australian players, which is what the bill is supposed to be about."
"We know these players well and are concerned about who they will gamble with if Lasseters is not available online," he said.
The Australian government would be unable to guarantee online gamblers' interests if they are using unregulated, offshore gambling sites, Bridge said.