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Interactive gambling moratorium commences tomorrow.



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Interactive gambling moratorium commences tomorrow The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, announced the Interactive Gambling (Moratorium) Act 2000 received Royal Assent today, and the moratorium will come into effect tomorrow, 22 December 2000.

'The Commonwealth Government has made its concerns about interactive gambling very clear-and from tomorrow it will be an offence to provide a new commercial interactive gambling service in Australia,' Senator Alston said.

The Act implements a 12-month moratorium on the introduction of new interactive gambling services from 19 May 2000 until 18 May 2001. Services that were operational by 19 May 2000 are permitted to continue during the moratorium period, and the Act has a sunset clause of 18 May 2001.

'Interactive wagering services that are simply an extension of current offline betting services are exempt from the moratorium-this includes betting on horse races, harness races, greyhound races, and sporting events,' Senator Alston said.

'The moratorium will stop the introduction of new wagering services that offer real-time betting after a sporting event has commenced . This will prevent wagering on mini-outcomes, or so called "ball-by-ball" betting, which has the potential to impact significantly on the incidence of problem gambling in Australia.'

'The Government, through the National Office for the Information Economy, is finalising a study into the feasibility and consequences of a permanent ban on interactive gambling.

'This moratorium will prevent the expansion of the interactive gambling industry in Australia, while the investigation is being completed.'

Throughout this process, the Commonwealth will continue to work with the

States and Territories through the Ministerial Council on Gambling, to ensure a concerted national effort on problem gambling.

Further information on the Interactive Gambling (Moratorium) Act 2000 is available online at www.noie.gov.au.

Media contact: Sasha Grebe, Senator Alston's office 02 6277 7480 or 0409 445 246

Website: www.richardalston.dcita.gov.au

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21 December 2000

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