Wednesday May 23, 2012 : LEGALISED AUSTRALIAN IN-PLAY BETTING AND CASH POKER GAMES?
Industry expects introduction within 6 to 12 months
News emerging from Australian media suggests a change of heart by the country's Federal Government on online in-play betting and cash poker games.
The Herald reports a Federal Government briefing earlier this month directed at the Australian gaming industry on a proposal which would allow the two forms of gambling.
Supporting the speculation, various media services quoted an e-mail that briefed Merrill Lynch clients on the development sent from gaming analyst Mark Bryan. The communication followed an online gaming symposium attended by Tattersalls, Jumbo Interactive, bookmakers and Tabcorp. An excerpt from the e-mail reads:
"In-play live online betting: Many in the industry indicated that they expect this to be legalised alongside poker in the next six to 12 months following overseas precedents.
It seems (Communications Minister) Stephen Conroy's department recently provided a brief on draft legalization."
The move has apparently been initiated with a view to stemming the tide of illegal gambling on unregulated offshore websites and aligning local and overseas laws.
Bryan was quick to warn, however, that any proposition in this early stage may be scuttled by a volatile political climate.
Conroy's department declined to comment, except to confirm the imminent completion of its review of the Interactive Gambling Act.