DCITA Studies I-Gaming Submissions

5 May 2003

Interested parties from all over the world have responded to the Australian federal government's call for submissions to review the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA).

In February the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts informed those in the industry that it was starting a mandatory review of the IGA. As part of the initial passage of the act, it was required to be reviewed after two years. The deadline for submissions was April 22, 2003. The next stage is for the DCITA will study the submissions and make a recommendation on how to best deal with the industry now.

The department is posting the submissions on its Web site and to date has 33. The list of those who sent in submission includes some of the biggest names in the industry.

Notable respondents include MasterCard International, the Interactive Gaming Council, the Australian Casino Association, Australian Bookmakers Association, and the Danish Ministry of Taxation.

While the list of respondents varies considerably (spanning both land-based on online gaming companies as well as banking and credit card interests) so too does the recommendations each is making.

Some call for an extension and broadening of the current IGA to include all forms of gambling. Others take a completely different route and recommend abolishing the IGA in favor of stricter licensing and regulatory laws for the industry.

The act makes it an offense to offer online gambling to anyone located within the country's borders.

At least one Australian think tank, the Australia Institute, didn't offer a submission. The organization, which has called for Internet service providers to filter pornography from subscribers' service instead of giving subscribers the software to do it themselves, has called the issue of online gambling "not interesting."

Over the course of the next few weeks, IGN will take an in-depth look at the submissions.

The list of those who submitted recommendations includes:

ACT Government
Australian Bankers Association
Australian Bookmakers' Association
Australian Casino Association
Australian Lotteries Industry
Australian Racing Board, Australian Harness Racing Council, Australian & New Zealand Greyhound Association
Clubs Australia and New Zealand
Commercial Television Australia
Convergent Communications Research Group
Danish Ministry of Taxation
Dr Rohan Miller
Golden Casket Agents' Association
Interactive Gambling Council Canada
Lasseters Corporation Ltd
Lottery Agents Association
MasterCard International
Mr Peter Mair
Mr Tim Smythe
Nick Xenophon MLC
NSW Department of Gaming and Racing
Professor Jan McMillen
Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd
Regis Controls Pty Ltd
South Australian Heads of Churches Gambling Task Force
TAB (TAB has advised that this document is no longer commercial in confidence)
TABCORP Holdings
TAB Agents Association of NSW
TOTE Tasmania (TOTE Tasmania has advised that this document is no longer commercial in confidence)
Urban Seed, the Victorian Local Governance Association, Communities Against the Pokies Plague and the Inter-church Gambling Taskforce
WA Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor
WWWagering & Gaming Consultants