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Xenophon Wants Police to Go After Online Gambling

31 May 2011 by admin

Xenophon-6111488Nick Xenophon, the staunchly anti-gambling independent South Australian senator, is disappointed in the efforts of the Australian Federal Police to curb the so-called problem. Though the Interactive Gambling Act bans online gambling in the country, it is still a thriving business and, according to Xenophon, the AFP is doing nothing about it. The AFP is like Australia’s version of the FBI in America.

Recently, the AFP has begun investigating PokerStars at the urging of the FBI. Why they would listen to the FBI, who has no international jurisdiction, is another issue entirely. Xenophon says that they have been dragging their heels and allowing online gambling websites to access the Australian market, including breaking the law by advertising in Australia by sponsoring sports franchises. It seems that the federal authorities were content to let the gambling happen, perhaps thinking that it’s not worth their time. That they are investigating now is a sign that they are willing to be pushed around by U.S. federal authorities.

To Xenophon, though, it’s too little too late. “There could be a hidden epidemic of problem gambling from online gambling that we just don’t know about,” he said to the Sydney Morning Herald. Of course! If only the Aussie feds went around busting websites that let people pay money to play a game, we would know how many gambling addicts there are!

The good Senator is calling on the AFP to crack down on online gambling and has also asked that the inquiry by the Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform include online gambling. The AFP, however, seems unfazed by his criticism. Their customary response to comments like Xenophon’s is to reiterate that they have a process to determine which cases receive attention from their limited resources. The implied response is “dude, we have more important things to worry about than online gambling.”

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