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Australian Net Gambling Ban Makes No Sense

2 April 2001

AUSTRALIA – April 2, 2001 – As reported by the Computer Daily News: `The Australian Government's proposed ban on online gambling won't solve the wider social issue of gambling, according to Dataquest's Gartner market research unit.

Joe Sweeney, research director, says the ban would simply push Net casinos into the hands of ungoverned, offshore gambling services.

``The Government, under pressure to deal with problem gambling in Australian society, has announced plans for legislation that would prohibit Australian gambling operators from offering services to Australian patrons.

``But it would let the Australian operators market their services to gamblers in other countries, and would make no attempt to block Australian gamblers from accessing overseas-based services.

"…By banning online gaming vendors from the Australian market, but then effectively only enforcing the law against local vendors, the Government is guaranteeing pirates will have the entire Australian online market to themselves' said Sweeney (research director)

"…Internet Industry Association Director Peter Coroneos said in a media statement: `Recently the governments of the UK and South Africa have said they will regulate online gambling, but not ban it.

"…`We find it ironic that the Internet is being singled out as particularly pernicious on the basis that it provides better access to gambling services.'

"`Sixty percent of Australians live less than five minutes from a betting establishment where no protections apply to control what they lose. Access is not the issue here at all. The Internet provides an opportunity to introduce player protection'…"

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