The Australian Senate has been conducting an inquiry into the Internet gaming industry since June of 1999. Its latest hearing, held this week in Canberra, featured testimony from Gary Banks, Productivity Commission Chairman; Dr. Ralph Lattimore, Assistant Commissioner, Productivity Commission; and Dr. Aziz Gregory Melick of the National Crime Authority.
Melick, whose testimony focused on the use of Internet gaming sites for money laundering, testified that the availability of credit card transactions makes it easy to launder money laundering through online betting sites. Melick pointed out that it's difficult for gaming sites and Australian authorities to detect suspicious activities because credit cards are so easily obtained.
The Productivity Commission members provided conclusions from their final report, Australia's Gambling Industries Lattimore explained some of their findings:
The policy options we have in mind see these things as balancing. The trick is to try to bring to bear regulatory options which maximise the net benefits - reÿduce the costs and maximise the benefits. We looked at three broad options: the do-nothing option; applying some regulatory measures, which presume then that Internet gambling is to some extent subject to control; and the use of complementary non-regulatory measures which deal with the problems.
Click here to view the complete testimony is available in PDF format.