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Betfair Advises Aussie Government Legalise Online Gambling
The Australian branch of online gambling group Betfair is championing the cause of Internet gambling Downunder, recommending to a government committee studying gambling reform that legalising and regulating Internet casino and poker gambling would be a good bet.
The government's Productivity Commission is in the first phase of a government consultation process to study gambling reform, and has to date received over 200 submissions from interested parties other than Betfair. In the next phase, public hearings are scheduled for September, eventually leading to the Commission's full report to the federal government in November 2009.
Many submissions made to the Commission thus far have called for changes to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, among them Betfair's suggestions which include opening up online casino games and poker, and more player-sensitive rules that will permit in-running bets. Betfair claims that current bans are not practically enforceable and merely drive Australians offshore in the pursuit of their pastime.
The betting exchange estimates that as much as A$ 300 million a year leaves the country in bets with offshore Internet gambling sites, cash that could stay at home in an enlightened approach to the fait accompli of Internet gambling. The submission signles out online poker for a special mention, commenting: “Poker has undergone a phenomenal rise in popularity in recent years, and as a result, more and more poker and other card game players are turning to the web.
“It is illegal to offer online poker to Australian residents, but that hasn’t prevented several large international operators from creating an enormous customer base here – assisted by promotional activities using high profile Australians and cross-selling through ‘play for free’ sites. It is estimated that more than A$300 million is bet by Australians annually on online poker – and it’s a figure that is rapidly growing.
“All revenues flow directly offshore without any tax being paid in Australia. Furthermore, players are gambling in a largely unregulated environment, with little protection offered to players in terms of fraud, security or harm minimisation. The ban on offering interactive gaming to Australians has had very little effect on curtailing the enormous growth of that sector of the market in Australia.
“Betfair advocates an approach based on regulation, rather than attempts to prohibit the activity. Only through regulation can effective player protection initiatives be enforced in the online environment.”
In its appeal for the legalisation of in-running betting, the gambling group asserts: “Australia is the only jurisdiction in the world that allows online wagering on sport but at the same time prevents punters from using the Internet to place in-play bets. To put it another way, except in Australia, wherever it is legal to place a wager over the internet, it is also legal to do so in-play on a racing or sporting event.
“Because there is no law against someone in Australia betting online in-play on sport (the prohibition is directed solely at the operator) there is a large incentive for Australians to bet with these overseas operators. As a result, licensed Australian wagering operators are permanently losing the business of punters who are lured to these sites by offering in-play sports betting online. This means that transactions are not regulated in Australia, there is no requirement to place appropriate social harm minimisation measures in place and no taxes or product fees are returned to governments or sporting bodies.”
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Tim Chung Wins MPNPT Manchester -
The 288-runner £550 MPNPT Manchester Main Event today crowned its champion, awarding the bulk of the £150,000 total prizepool to the nine players surviving after two days of tournament poker at the Grosvenor Casino.
MPNPT Manchester Day 2 -
Day 2 of the £550 MPNPT Manchester Main Event saw 60 Day 1 survivors (from a total of 288 entries) and three intrepid last-minute registrants sit down to play to the final table.
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Day 1B of the £550 MPNPT Manchester Main Event saw the field rise to 285, as players took full advantage of the whole-day re-entry period.
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The £150,000 guaranteed MPNPT Manchester kicked off today in style – 74 poker players from all over Europe arriving at the Grosvenor Casino to contend the first of two starting days
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2017 Bodog Super Millions Poker Open -
The first events on the 105-tournament schedule have already been completed; there are three more tourneys on Thursday’s schedule, with a total of $34,000 in guaranteed prize money waiting to be won.
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