Aussies Get Assertive
By staff
Calling foreign operators “parasites” who “need to be knocked on the head”, manager Warren Wilson of Aussie gaming operator TAB pressed for penalties for offshore betting sites targeting Australians. The company also wants the Government to extend telephone betting to the Internet, saying both forms used the same wire.

However, ‘ball-by-ball’ betting on sports events via the internet would remain illegal, if the Federal Government agrees to TAB Ltd's demands. NSW's TAB Ltd is one high-profile wagering and gaming operator which is strenuously lobbying the Government to modify the interactive gambling laws, which were placed under review in 2001 and have so far drawn 41 submissions.

TAB wants the Government to refuse Kerry Packer's request to allow interactive TV viewers to bet ‘ball-by-ball’ on sports matches as they unfold. 'What you are doing is you are transferring the art of wagering into the world of gaming,' claimed Wilson. 'And the real point of difference is that gaming is all about games of chance, whereas wagering is about a skill-based scenario where you actually can sit down and assess a whole lot of factors and make an informed decision about having a bet.'

While predicting a large community backlash against ‘ball-by-ball’ gambling which may lead to tighter restrictions, the company is lobbying the Government to permit its ‘in the run’ service, by which bets can be placed on certain results after the game has started, to run on the net as well as by telephone. Communications Minister Richard Alston indicated last month that he would be prepared to consider relaxing the laws to allow ‘in-the-run’ betting.

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