ACMA facing second review, as govt ponders online gambling


tom-waterhouse

A new federal review of online gambling laws adds to the inquiry already underway into ACMA, including its oversight of internet betting. Local gambling companies are pushing for stronger compliance measures against foreign competitors.

The federal government will move to tighten rules against foreign online betting companies, it was reported on Wednesday, as its review into the functions of the Australian Communications and Media Authority gets going. Submissions to the ACMA review show Australian gambling companies Tabcorp and Sportsbet are pushing for updated legislation and better enforcement against overseas competitors.

The government is expected to act before Christmas to change the existing regime following a review to be conducted by Social Services Minister Scott Morrison into the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, said The Australian on Wednesday. The review will examine the economic impacts of illegal foreign gambling websites, international regulatory regimes and technological and administrative options for better regulation of the sector.

The Interactive Gambling Act has been criticised recently by Australian-based companies in their submissions to the government’s review of the Australian Communications and Media Authority, which administers the law. According to Tabcorp:

“Legislation administered by the ACMA which regulates the online gambling entertainment industry has not kept pace with industry changes … The IGA should be modernised and the agency responsible for its administration requires stronger powers to prosecute offenders and impose penalties.”

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