Australia rules out live TV betting
By staff
Australia’s federal government has rebuffed Kerry Packer’s bid to allow live betting via iTV.

Packer, Australia’s richest man and head of media and entertainment firm PBL, wanted the ban on live betting lifted.

'It is PBL's view that the restrictions contained in the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 have the potential to limit the ability of Australian television companies to offer attractive interactive services to viewers through digital television,' PBL argued in a submission to a review of Australia’s gambling laws.

But Communications Minister Richard Alston has indicated he would not grant a request by Mr Packer’s listed company to lift the ban on betting on sports events already in progress, arguing that it would increase gambling addiction.

'At the time the legislation went through, there was some research which indicated it was related to problem gambling,' a spokesman for Senator Alston said last week.

'We will probably not be looking at reform in that area. But it is one of the issues that is being considered and all submissions will be considered on their merits, including Mr Packer’s.'

But PBL believes the success of digital television depends on viewers being allowed to interact and gamble on sporting events whenever they choose.

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