Thursday, May 3,2012 : AUSSIE GOVERNMENT HAS GAMBLING IN ITS SIGHTS
 
Online gambling will be among subjects addressed in new legislative season
 
The Australian federal government of Julia Gillard is to push ahead with plans to clamp down on gambling Downunder, and will tackle several issues in the winter session of parliament, which commences next week reports the Brisbane Times.
 
On the agenda is a proposal to boost the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) by empowering it to enforce new rules on online sports betting, including a ban on promotion of live odds during sports coverage.
 
Other initiatives are aimed at the extensive popularity of pokies gambling machines; the government says its three bills – which it wants passed by June 28 – will reduce the harm caused by gaming machines to problem gamblers, their families and communities.
 
The legalization will allow for a trial in the Australian Capital Territory of pre-commitment technology and its expansion to other states and territories if the trial proves successful.
 
All new poker machines manufactured from 2013 must be capable of supporting pre-commitment by December 31, 2016, and all poker machines must be part of a state-linked pre-commitment system, except eligible small venues which will have longer.
 
Other measures covered by the laws include a $250 daily withdrawal limit from ATMs in gaming venues (excluding casinos) by February 1, 2013, extra gambling counsellors and electronic warnings and cost-of-play displays on poker machines by 2016.
 
The ruling Labor Party has a tenuous grip on power and could face strong opposition.