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Australia Internet Gaming Providers Push for Exemptions in Proposed Internet Gambling Ban

4 May 2001

CANBERRA, Australia –– As reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corp.: "Australia's Internet gaming providers have called for the exemption of wagering and sports betting from the Federal Government's proposed ban on Internet gambling.

"Addressing a committee hearing on the Interactive Gambling Bill, the heads of some of Australia's leading gambling companies have warned they will take their businesses offshore if the Government proceeds with the regulation as it stands.

"Canbet's Richard Farmer says a permanent ban on Internet gaming will destroy Australian business.

"…The TAB has joined the fight against a total ban on Internet gambling.

"…TABCORP Holdings general manager of government affairs, David Charles, says sports betting, in particular horse racing, accounts for less than 3 per cent of total gambling turnover.

"He says the lack of interactivity in sports betting should ensure it is excluded from the Government's ban.

"…The Australian racing industry has also called on the Federal Government to exclude wagering or sports betting from its proposed ban on Internet gaming.

"Racing representatives have argued that wagering requires skill and is fundamentally different than other forms of gambling such as poker machine use.

"The chairman of the Australian Racing Board, Robert Charley, told the hearing a complete ban will only benefit overseas providers.

"…`We're concerned about offshore operators offering our citizens the chance to bet on our racing and returning no revenue to our industry.' "

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