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Privacy a key to Internet gambling regulations.



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  Senator Natasha Stott Despoja Deputy Parliamentary Leader and Senator for South Australia Australian Democrats spokesperson for Science and Information Technology

Press Release Dated: 16 Mar 2000 Press Release Number: 00137nsd Portfolio: Science and Information Technology 

 

Privacy a key to internet gambling regulations  

Australian Democrats Deputy Leader and Spokesperson for Information Technology and Privacy, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, says strong user privacy provisions must be included in any system of regulation for internet gambling. 

The Senate Select Committee on Information Technologies has handed down its report into internet gambling - Netbets: A Review of On-line Gambling in Australia. 

Senator Stott Despoja, in her supplementary comments to the Senate Select Committee’s report, says despite the privacy of internet transactions and communications being of major concern to users, the Howard Government has failed to adequately address the issue. 

“Internet users are wary of electronic transactions that are not properly protected by an appropriate legal regime. The Government’s recent proposals go only part of the way towards providing this legal environment.” 

“The privacy of on-line gamblers’ details and credit card information must be protected. This is the primary concern of the Australian Democrats in regulation of this technology.” 

“The use of player databases to identify and address problem players must be approached with caution. A balance must be reached between the autonomy of the player to gamble on the internet and harm reduction mechanisms.” 

“The Democrats support the requirement of encryption, firewalls and security to protect player information, and ensure secure database storage in an on-line operating environment.” 

Senator Stott Despoja says the Democrats also have concerns about some existing State and Territory-based licensing practices, and the questionable transparency of the granting of these licences. 

“A nationally coordinated and transparent application system should be investigated and

implemented, providing a uniform and accountable mechanism to grant licences.” 

“Internet gambling regulations need to be consolidated and simplified to ensure adequate standards of consumer protection. The Democrats support uniform multifaceted regulation of the on-line gambling industry, incorporating non-regulatory harm minimisation measures.” 

“A middle ground must be found between prohibition and self-regulation which commits to harm minimisation and consumer protection, while promoting the responsible operation of the domestic on-line gambling industry.”