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Australian Laws Not Stopping Online Gambling

25 April 2003

AUSTRALIA -- As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald: "Only 15 complaints against internet gambling operators have been investigated since online gambling was banned three years ago - and no virtual casinos or pokie operators have been prosecuted.

"The Federal Government is reviewing the Interactive Gambling Act it introduced to curb the gambling expansion.

"But Penrith Panthers, which operates more than 1100 poker machines, says it has surveyed its gamblers, who were increasingly turning to the internet for better odds and were not subject to State Government restrictions.

"...Despite the ban, industry sources estimate Australians gamble hundreds of millions of dollars a year online, mostly on casino bets. An Australian Casino Association survey last year found about 5 per cent of all internet traffic involved online gambling sites. About 2.3 million people in NSW had access to the internet in 2001.

"Nevertheless, the Australian Broadcasting Authority had received only 21 complaints - six of which did not contain enough information to be investigated - a spokesman said. Only eight sites were found to be illegal.

"...Tim Ryan, of the Australian Bookmakers' Association Internet betting committee, said the authority was reactive, not proactive, in enforcing the legislation..."

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