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Australia To Ban New Internet Gambling Services

27 June 2000

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA, -- June 27, 2000 – As reported by Reuters: "Australian-based companies running online gambling services will face fines of up to A$1.1 million a day under new legislation to be introduced later this year.

"Communications Minister Richard Alston said on Tuesday the legislation, as foreshadowed, would impose a 12-month ban backdated to May 19 on introducing new interactive gambling services, including new services offered by existing providers.

"`Commonwealth action to slow the growth of the interactive gambling industry in Australia is required because the majority of states and territories have rejected the Commonwealth's call for a voluntary moratorium on new interactive gambling,' Alston said in a statement.

"…Australia's states and territory governments, which are responsible for regulating gambling, have issued at least 22 online gaming licences, with several issued after the national government foreshadowed legislation to block more licences.

"Industry players argue that Australia's Internet gambling industry risks losing up to US$4.5 billion a year if the pace is slowed - while punters turn to the 800 or so sites offshore.

"… `The legislation ... will be enforced by the Australian Federal Police as a criminal offence and attract significant maximum penalties of up to A$1.1 million a day,' Alston said…"

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