CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Glenn Barry
 

Queensland Law Not What It Seems

29 June 1998

There are a couple of sections of the Queensland (Australia) Interactive Gambling (Player Protection) 1998 which just might throw a quite different light on the issue of Internet gambling in Queensland.

For the other well-read types who follow IGN, you will remember that the proposed Australian national approach makes a case that offshore online gambling should not be banned outright (from the Aussie players point of view), but rather should be restricted by taking away the right to advertise or otherwise market the offshore site actively in Australia.

This was based on the opinion that: Internet gambling could not be stopped, so why waste resources by trying to shut it off when you could legalize it and hold the local market as well as picking up some cash Offshore?

Now a close reading of the Queensland Bill finds this tricky little clause which, when combined with the definitions, throws a whole new perspective on the issue of offshore play by Queensland citizens.

Penalty for conduct of, or participation in, unauthorized interactive gambling:

16.(1) A person must not conduct an interactive game wholly or partly in Queensland, or allow a person who is in Queensland to participate in an interactive game, unless—(a) the game is an authorized game; and (b) the person is authorized under this Act or a corresponding law to conduct the game. Maximum penalty—200 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment.

Now read that again slowly, you may not allow a Queenslander to play at your site unless—(a) the game is an authorized game; and (b) the person is authorized under this Act or a corresponding law to conduct the game.

Now that seems to me to mean unless you are 'authorized' 'in Queensland', then you may well be looking at two years in a Queensland prison for taking a bet!

A look at the "meaning" of "authorized" game doesn't make it any better.

Meaning of "authorized game":

12.(1) An "authorized game" is an interactive game that—(a) a licensed provider is authorized to conduct under this division; or (b) an external provider is authorized to conduct under the corresponding law of the participating jurisdiction in which the provider is licensed. (2) However, a game that an external provider is authorized to conduct under a corresponding law (an "externally authorized game") is not to be regarded as an authorized game if the external provider is prohibited from conducting the game in Queensland by order under subsection (3). (3) If the Minister believes the conduct of an externally authorized game in Queensland is contrary to the public interest, the Minister may, by written notice given to the external provider authorized under the corresponding law to conduct the game, prohibit conduct of the game in Queensland. (4) The Minister may only impose a prohibition under subsection (3) after giving the external provider and the relevant participating regulator written notice of the proposed prohibition and the reasons for it and allowing each of them a reasonable opportunity to make representations. (5) If the Minister imposes a prohibition under subsection (3) the Minister must promptly give the relevant participating regulator a copy of the notice imposing the prohibition.

Now again read subsection two slowly:

(2) However, a game that an external provider is authorized to conduct under a corresponding law (an "externally authorized game") is not to be regarded as an authorized game if the external provider is prohibited from conducting the game in Queensland by order under subsection (3).

This all combines to mean that the Minister of Gambling in Queensland has the legal right to ban your operation from taking bets from Queenslanders if he feels it is "contrary to the public interest," even if you have a legal license to operate online in the country where you're located.

So what may be "against the public interest"? Old hands will see immediately that tax revenue being lost because Queenslanders are betting offshore would be the first "against the public interest" the Treasury Department and the established or local gambling interests would raise and squawk about.

Even though there is a requirement for notice and the opportunity to "make representations" if you are shut out, local realpolitik would mean a plaintive letter from a Caribbean Cybercasino would not be able to overcome local vested interests out to peel their Banana.

So nambling operators around the world: You had better keep your eye out from letters postmarked Queensland Australia if you don't want to find out what the inside of the Queensland Private Prison system looks like.

Q: What the hell is a penalty unit?
A: To save amending acts to increase fines, all the acts are written to say penalty units and one act says what the penalty units are worth. Now, they are about $45 in Qld. So the judge says the fine is 30 points so 45 x 30 = $1350 you just got fined.

Queensland Law Not What It Seems is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Glenn Barry
Glenn Barry