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Interactive Gambling Bill stunt.

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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: 6 Dec 2000 Press Release Number: 00/739 Portfolio: Science and Information Technology 

Interactive Gambling Bill Stunt The Democrats’ Deputy Leader and Information Technology Spokesperson, Senator Stott Despoja, has expressed disappointment at the passage of the Interactive Gambling (Moratorium) Bill 2000 today.

“The idea of a moratorium to explore the feasibility of a ban on interactive gambling services is unnecessary, given the National Office of Information Economy will be presenting a report on this very issue several months into next year,” said Senator Stott Despoja.

“In the past few months there has been significant progress made by the States and Territories and the industry in working to formulate a nationally consistent framework for Internet gambling regulation.

“The Darwin Gaming Summit concluded with a range of harm minimisation and player protection measures in line with the Senate IT Committee’s Report, NETBETS, to strengthen the National Model considered by the State Ministers in 1997.”

Senator Stott Despoja said the Bill was an attack on technology.

“It is in the guise of concern about gambling and the social problems associated with it, yet it does nothing to ensure these pressing issues are tackled in a social responsible way.

A Democrat amendment to ensure a public awareness campaign and that harm minimisation strategies were employed was defeated.

“One of the gravest legislative problems with this bill is it retrospectivity, it dates back to May 19, 2000. Democrat amendments to oppose retrospectivity were defeated by the ALP and the Government.

“We do not want to see, with the ubiquity of the Net, the Telecommunications power of the Constitution used to impose Federal Government agendas on State and Territory jurisdictions.

“A ban means a growth in unregulated or poorly regulated sites offshore. The social consequences of gambling are our concern and this will not be addressed with a moratorium on interactive gambling,” Senator Stott Despoja concluded.


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