Cybercasinos To Go Online Down Under Soon

13 October 1998

The first Australian state government licensed online casinos will be up and operating within the next six months.

The Alice Springs based Lassiters Casino ( has just completed a beta test with play money and the casinos engine is undergoing testing by the Northern Territory state regulators. The cyber casino's play engine was designed by Access Systems Pty. Ltd. (, who previously designed the Tattersalls cyber casino ( that ran as a play-for-fun operation to test the waters of the cyber pond.

The Northern Territory of Australia is not yet a state but the Commonwealth Government has given the local parliament the right to make laws regarding gambling issues. The Territory has a very small population of some 200,000 people and has always been keen to find ways of making money from the more populous Australian states.

The major market for offshore gambling is perceived to be nearby Asian countries, particularly Indonesia, where all gambling is banned because of Islamic views on gambling. Darwin, the state capital, is closer to the major Asian cities than it is the to southern Australian major population centers.

The Northern Teritory has two land-based casinos: Lassiters in Alice Springs and the MGM Grand in Darwin. There are two Internet sports betting services, Darwin Allsports ( and the Alice Springs based Centrebet ( Both of these betting services can, and do, take bets from US citizens under the local law. The local Territory Lottery ( also has an online service and claim to be taking orders from as far a away as China and Russia. The new casino, which may well be the first to be licensed by an accepted world standard regulator, hasn't been given an official start-up date for real money play.

Meanwhile, the small southern Australian island state of Tasmania will soon extend the existing casino licenses held by the Federal Group to include cyber casino operations. The state has two land casinos: the Country Club Casino in Launceston ( and the Wrestpoint Casino ( in the capital city of Hobart. The two casinos will have one server, but both will operate with different graphics and themes. No start-up date has been given, although it's expected to be within the next six months.

The Tasmanian government will not create new legislation along the lines of the National Approach to Internet Gaming proposed by the Working Group of State Regulars but will rather go it alone. The local Tasmanian population will not be allowed to play online and US citizens will be banned from playing according to local industry sources, who did not wish to be named.

The state of Queensland is expected to approve cyber casino operation soon and there is a possibility that additional casinos will be licensed by the Australian self-governing territory of Norfolk Island and the Australian Capital Territory.

The development of online gambling beyond race and some sports betting has been stalled in New South Wales and Victoria, is on hold in South Australia and has been banned in western Australia.

IGN's Mr.Nambling is a gaming industry consultant and commentator with over 23 years industry experience, Glenn Barry has held senior management positions in Lottery and gaming operations around the world. His claims to fame include starting the first successful US Lotto in NewYork in 1978 and the NSW (Australia) in 1979.