Tattersalls Goes Live, Others to Follow

13 October 2000
Shortly after news of the Australian Senate's failure to pass legislation implementing a year-long moratorium on new interactive gaming sites broke, licensing jurisdictions and gaming businesses rushed headlong into implementing plans that had been put on hold for the duration. One company, however, didn't let a possible moratorium frighten it off. Tattersall's launched its tatts.com online casino, licensed by the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission, prior to the Senate vote.

The site offers registered players a chance to play roulette, SicBo, black jack, draw poker and baccarat, as well as slots. "Identity checks are carried out to ensure players meet the following conditions - over the age of 18 years, not reside in a country which prohibits you from engaging in interactive gaming, and have not been excluded from interactive gambling by a regulatory authority," Tatts.com Public Relations and Media Manager Belinda Dennet explained.

Players can also participate in Tattersall's Internet-based lottery games - Tattslotto, Powerball and Oz Lotto.

A few Tattersall's competitors are already ready to play online as well. According to published reports, Canbet Ltd. is hoping to receive an ACT license. Additionally, companies like PBL, e-corp and Tabcorp are itching to launch their own Net betting sites.

Still a shadow continues to hang over the Aussie interactive gaming industry. Although the moratorium failed to pass, the possibility that the bill could be re-introduced worries some operators. "The federal government has reserved their right to reintroduce the legislation so there's still some uncertainty," e-corp spokesman Wayne Jones told AAP. "We will just be reviewing our options over the next weeks."

Not all operators believe that new betting sites should be launched so hastily. Federal Hotels Managing Director Greg Farrell told the Sydney Morning Herald that the rush to open virtual gambling sites was inappropriate. "At the moment there's no notion of sharing taxation revenues so the states would have to agree on that," he said. "And if we were to go open slather now, it would just fuel the fire and lead to claims of exploitation."