Dear Mr. Progress, Meet Mr. Brick Wal

15 March 2000
If witnessing the Australian federal and state governments savagely clawing each other's eyes out would bring you great pleasure, then you might just be in for a dandy treat. Most of the states are looking at moving forward with licensing for online casinos, but the federal government seems to be stricken with a nasty case of Kyleria. The latest punch to the gut of the states comes in the form of a recommended five-year moratorium on new Internet gaming licenses.

The Age reports that the federal government will throw its support in the corner of the moratorium which will be proposed in a report by a Senate committee that recently conducted an inquiry into online gambling. The 110 page report will be released tomorrow.

Prime Minister John Howard foreshadowed the expected inquiry results in December when he recommended that Australia seriously consider banning Internet gambling.

The federal government is leaning toward prohibition, however, gambling regulations have traditionally been a responsibility of the states. Considering that several states have already issued online casino licenses with intentions of issuing more, enacting a nationwide prohibition could create a bit of a conflict.

In a compromise of sorts, the federal government is instead seeking to discontinue the issuing of licenses for a while. That would leave heavyweights Crown and Tabcorp out in the cold; both companies are planning to go online, but neither have been formally issued licenses yet. Additionally, the Victorian government, which intended to issue licenses soon but hasn't issued any yet, probably won't be too thrilled that they missed the cut-off.

Clearly, things will get very interesting.

Interactive Gambling News will post the Senate's report when it becomes available.

Mark Balestra

Mark Balestra is the Managing Director at BolaVerde Media Group. He previously worked at Clarion Gaming and the River City Group where he was the publisher of iGamingNews. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.