|PBL is trying to get the Federal Government to change its interactive gambling laws. Under the Packer proposal, a message would pop up on the screen inviting viewers to bet on the next wicket taker or the next batsman to get out. Viewers would use their remote control to place the bet.|
In its submission to the Government's review of the interactive gambling regulations, the Packer family company, PBL, wants the Government to change the law that only allows gambling after an event begins.
As the law stands, 'in-play' bets can be made only over the phone or at a TAB retail outlet. PBL argues that the existing ban on in-play betting via TV could limit the interactive services Australian companies are allowed to provide to viewers.
Two years ago the Packer camp was lobbying hard against the Government's proposal to ban local companies from offering online gaming to Australians. Failing to persuade the Government to change its mind, Mr Packer was forced to base his Crowngames.com Internet casino in Vanuatu to escape the ban. Sine then PBL has shifted the focus of its lobbying on interactive gambling laws from the Internet to digital TV.
It is hoping to emulate the success of Sky Interactive in Britain, which claims 40 per cent of bets placed on live English Premier League soccer games are placed during games. PBL argues that: 'Given the experience in the UK, it is necessary to amend the act to permit an expansion of wagering services able to be provided by a television service.'
Both the country's largest betting agency, NSW TAB, and the West Australian Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor are also leaning on the Government to allow in-play betting over the Internet. The West Australians believe: 'It is inconsistent that this service is legally available through TAB call centres and retail outlets, yet cannot be offered via the internet.'