Under Fire Down Under
By Staff
In Australia, the registered land-based gambling movement is to launch an assault on online gaming operators and lobby them into observing some of the same restrictions pubs and clubs face such as a ban on credit card betting.

According to a piece in The Sydney Morning Herald, Clubs Australia has announced that it will use a recent inquiry into gambling by the Productivity Commission to call for Internet gambling companies to meet the same laws that apply to clubs, pubs and casinos operating poker machines.

New South Wales lifted restrictions on online gambling operators advertising after Western Australia lost a High Court case against Betfair last year while Graham Kelly, Chairman for CentreBet, stated recently that Internet thoroughbred wagering made up 19 percent of the market, up from 13 percent five years ago.

David Costello, Chief Executive Officer for Club Australia, said that Internet gambling was ‘now so popular that Federal, state and territory governments must act to ensure it is subject to the same checks and balances that apply to poker machines’.
''Poker machines are the most heavily regulated form of gambling in Australia,” said Costello.

“In New South Wales alone there are more than 200 pieces of law relating to their operation. Yet when it comes to online gambling, governments have given the tick to almost 100 businesses that have secured a gambling licence with virtually no obligation to responsible gambling measures.

''Standardising gambling laws would mean online operators would be banned from accepting bets placed with a credit card and offering gambling inducements such as $1,000 in free bets and would also be required to have staff trained in responsible gambling. If you go to the CentreBet website and click on Responsible Wagering, you will be directed to a website in Los Angeles, which offers nothing more than an e-mail address.''
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