|Australia’s official cricket website has moved abroad, after the Federal police were asked to investigate possible violations of the country’s Interactive Gambling Act. The Baggy Green website, which provides official cricket statistics and live updates, was relocated by its Australian operator ninemsn to a UK web hosting company. |
The federal police have elected not to investigate, despite being asked to by the Department of Communications, IT and the Arts, which was concerned at gambling ads on the site. The police said the decision not to investigate was down to insufficient resources: 'The AFP is not resourced to investigate every complaint made and must decide whether to allocate resources ... and in this case it was determined it would not be investigated,' an AFP spokeswoman said.
The Interactive Gambling Act outlaws any offering of Internet gambling to Australians. Online gambling companies are allowed to operate from Australia only to service foreign punters.
Communications and IT Minister Daryl Williams said his department had investigated six possible breaches of part 7A of the Interactive Gambling Act since it came into effect in August 2001.
'The Government is satisfied that appropriate consideration has been given to the complaints referred to the Australian Federal Police,' Williams said. Of three referred by the DCITA, only one is under investigation.
Ninemsn were taking no chances, however, and moved the site from its Australian host company, Hostworks, hosting it on UK-based servers instead.
Ninemsn spokeswoman Ngaire Moyes said the UK move was down to technical issues: 'We used to host them in Adelaide with Hostworks, but for site performance issues, Cricinfo wanted to consolidate their servers in the UK,' she said. This 'resulted in faster download times and a better experience for customers', she said.
However, Hostworks managing director Marty Gauvin said that was news to him. 'None of the discussions we've had with them have involved performance, so that's not what I would see as the issue,' Gauvin said.
Hostworks remains the hosting provider for all of ninemsn's other websites.
Sources close to the decision said ninemsn wanted to avoid the risk of being involved with an illegal operation after being contacted by phone by the Federal police.