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ISPS Should Not Police Online Gambling

8 November 2011 by admin

australia_worldThe trade group for Australia’s national internet industry told the government that internet service providers (ISPs) should not be charged with policing online gambling. The Internet Industry Association (IIA) submitted a report to parliament recommending that the regulation and restriction be done at the point of access.

Parliament recently called for a review of the Interactive Gambling Act of 2011 to see how it can be made more effective. The law does not ban Australian citizens from playing casino games online, but it does ban online gambling sites from operating in Australia. The law tasks the ISPs with monitoring the activity to make sure no gambling sites break the law. According to the IIA, that places an unfair burden on the Internet industry and is not even effective.

In the statement, the IIA says that they believe “that the point of consumption, that is, the end user’s device, is the only effective and technically feasible way of controlling access to the Internet.” The IIA also points out that there is no realistic way of protecting minors and other Australians from playing at online gambling websites located overseas. For that reason, instead of prohibition, the IIA recommends federal regulation, where companies can obtain licenses to legally operate in the country.

“Australian online gamblers who participate at offshore sites forego the protection of Australian law and harm minimization requirements when they use offshore gambling providers,” the report said. While some politicians, such as Senator Nick Xenophon, are pushing for a full prohibition of online gambling, others support liberalizing the market and regulating it federally.

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