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Australian Online Gambling Moratorium Fails

17 October 2000

The Australian Federal Government''s proposal to ban all new online gaming sites and services for 12 months has failed, after the moratorium was defeated Monday night in the Senate. Although online operators are pleased with the defeat of the Interactive Gambling Moratorium Bill, the Internet Industry Association (IIA) says that the Government may still pursue a total Internet gambling ban. In spite of the moratorium''s failure, IIA executive director Peter Coroneos said that the very prospect of a ban may undermine business opportunities in the Internet industry in Australia. He expressed his fears that the Australian Government appears determined to ban Internet gambling. Coroneos continued that the moratorium was designed to bring the industry growth to a halt, undermining industry confidence while the Government investigated the logistics of such a ban. "Our message is ''regulate, don''t ban’. Australian sites are already internationally recognised as being the most reputable and well controlled anywhere in the world. It makes more sense to build on that reputation, rather to deny it and force players into the hands of questionable operations offshore." This sentiment is shared by the Managing Director of online gambling site, Lasseters Online, Peter Bridge. Bridge regards the failed moratorium as a crossroads for the Federal Government. In his opinion, it can choose to pursue a ban, or it can work together with state and territory legislators to monitor and develop regulatory controls.

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