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Aussie Banks Refuse to be Police

6 May 2003

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Australian: ``Australians are likely to continue easily flouting bans on internet gambling, after banks warn the Howard Government they will not support efforts to block financial transactions with illegal casinos.

``Australian banks say it is neither feasible nor appropriate for financial transaction systems to be used as an enforcement tool, or for banks to act as enforcement agencies.

``In a submission to the Government's interactive gambling inquiry, the Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) also says its members should not have to bear the costs of any new financial transaction regulations.

``Proposals for regulating transactions will have unintended and unwarranted consequences, it says.

``Under Australia's internet gambling laws, locals cannot use casino-style online gambling sites, but in practice it has been difficult to ensure Australians do not access the hundreds of sites hosted offshore.

``Opponents of gambling say blocking credit card transactions for illegal bets could help limit the practice. But the ABA says that will be difficult and costly…"

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