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Wednesday, 27 June 2001
Page: 25263

Debate resumed from 21 June, on motion by Senator Ian Campbell:

That this bill be now read a second time.

upon which Senator Mark Bishop had moved by way of an amendment:

At the end of the motion, add:

“but the Senate:

(a) condemns the Government for introducing an unworkable, internally inconsistent and hypocritical bill which:

(i) does not provide strong regulation of interactive gambling as the most practical and effective way of reducing social harm arising from gambling;

(ii) may exacerbate problem gambling in Australia by barring access to regulated on-line gambling services with in-built safeguards but allows access to unregulated offshore on-line gambling sites that do not offer consumer protection or probity;

(iii) does not extend current regulatory and consumer protection requirements applying to off-line and land-based casinos, clubs or wagering venues to on-line casinos and on-line wagering facilities;

(iv) damages Australia's international reputation for effective consumer protection laws and strong, workable gambling regulations;

(v) singles out one form of gambling in an attempt to create the impression of placating community concern about the adverse social consequences of gambling but does not address more prevalent forms of gambling in Australian society; and

(vi) is not technology neutral or technically feasible;

(b) calls on the Government to show national leadership on this issue by:

(i) addressing harm minimisation and consumer protection as well as criminal issues that may arise from on-line gambling;

(ii) ensuring a quality gambling product through financial probity checks on providers and their staff;

(iii) maintaining the integrity of games and the proper working of gaming equipment;

(iv) providing mechanisms to exclude those not eligible to gamble under Australian law;

(v) implementing problem gambling controls, such as exclusion from facilities, expenditure thresholds, no credit betting, and the regular provision of transaction records;

(vi) introducing measures to minimise any criminal activity linked to interactive gambling;

(vii) providing effective privacy protection for on-line gamblers;

(viii) containing social costs by ensuring that adequate ongoing funds are available to assist those with gambling problems;

(ix) addressing revenue issues that impact upon state government decisions relating to interactive gambling;

(x) establishing consistent standards for all interactive gambling operators;

(xi) examining international protocols with the aim of achieving multilateral agreements on sports betting and other forms of interactive gambling;

(xii) ensuring appropriate standards in advertising, in particular, to prevent advertising from targeting minors;

(xiii) investigating mechanisms to ensure that some of the benefits of on-line gambling accrue more directly to the local community;

(xiv) working with State and Territory governments to ensure that on-line and interactive gambling operators meet the highest standards of probity and auditing through licensing agreements;

(xv) seeking co-regulation of interactive gambling by establishing a national regulatory framework that provides consumer safeguards and industry codes of practice; and

(xvi) coordinating the development of a co-regulatory regime through the Ministerial Council comprising of relevant State and Federal Ministers”.

(Quorum formed)