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Australian gambling laws set for a shake up

The Australian Government has begun reviewing its 2001 Internet Gambling Act. This has prompted many other institutions to begin their own review of the Australian online gambling industry.

The Australian government is reviewing their internet gambling act and many industries are keen to have their say in any new legislation.

The Internet Industry Association (IIA) is claiming that the issue of problem gambling needs to be addressed at both the PC and smart-phone level. The IIA is keen to ensure that responsibility is not placed on ISP’s but rather at the point of service access (i.e. the player’s computer or phone). They say that placing responsibility on ISP’s would be ineffective and unrealistic.

At the same time several Australian banks have launch a campaign to stop the government from passing laws that would restrict payment processing of online gambling transactions. The Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) is saying that any such restrictions would be hard to accurately enforce and could affect other online payments such as from online shops.
The ABA says that this would make Australia less competitive in international markets. Steven Munchenberg the CEO of the ABA said that if, “Australia was identified as a jurisdiction where payment obligations may not be fulfilled in a certain and timely manner, it is possible that merchants and online service providers will refuse to accept business and payments from customers designated as originating from Australia.”

Currently it is illegal for online gambling operators in Australia to accept payments from players. However, over 90% of gambling websites will accept Australian players and almost $1 billion were spent by Australian players on online gambling websites last year. Recently the government proposed to place pre-commitment technology on most poker machines. The proposal is popular with the Australian public and would exclude machines with a maximum bet of up to $1.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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