Tuesday September 01,2015 : FRESH REVIEW OF AUSSIE INTERACTIVE GAMING ACT ORDERED
Legislation is out of date and too ambiguous.
Australia's federal Social Services Minister Scott Morrison is controlling a fresh review of Australia's Interactive Gambling Act, which is widely seen to be ambiguous and outdated by current technological and commercial standards, notably the rise of mobile gambling and the entry into the Australian gambling market of large European online sports betting groups.
Morrison wants the review of the 2001 legalization to include input from gaming operators, betting agencies and gambling help authorities, with recommendations prepared for government consideration by the end of 2015, the Sydney Morning Herald reports, noting that the review is likely to ignite existing tensions within the wagering industry over the different approaches companies are taking to new digital technologies.
The review will include an examination of laws around online casino betting, currently illegal but openly available to Aussie internet and mobile punters from offshore online gambling operators.
Two years ago a similar review recommended that online in-play betting on the outcome of a sports fixture be permitted, but that was not acted upon.
In-play betting will almost certainly again be on the agenda; William Hill and Bet365 have been offering the controversial in-play betting system for several months, allowing punters to bet live on sports via their smart phones.
Punters in Australia can bet on the outcome of an event after it has begun, but only via the telephone or in person. Such ‘in-play' betting is outlawed on online platforms, including smartphones, but the betting companies claim that, as long as the player keeps the smart phone microphone on, it complies with the law.
The Australian Wagering Council is in favour of online in-play betting, arguing that it is necessary so that Aussie operators can compete with hundreds of illegal offshore sports betting operators.
Our readers will recall the furore earlier this year when the Australian Communications and Media Authority asked the Australian Federal Police to investigate the legality of the in-play offers from Bet365, William Hill and Ladbrokes; the latter subsequently withdrew its product.
The influential Tabcorp Group says that in-play betting on smartphones is illegal, and it is not offering such a product.