Interactive Gambling Act receives assent

by E-Commerce Group

Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (Cth) On 11 July 2001, the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (Cth) (Act) received assent. The Bill was introduced into Federal Parliament on 5 April 2001, and was passed by both Houses of Parliament on 28 June 2001, following considerable amendment. The Act introduces new offences of:
  • intentionally supplying an interactive gambling service to customers located in Australia
  • intentionally providing an Australian-based interactive gambling service to customers present in a foreign country that the Minister has declared to be a designated country.
A number of gambling services are excluded from the ban, including:
  • telephone betting services
  • wagering services (including betting on horse races or sporting events) where bets are received before the event has commenced.
There is a defence of reasonable diligence under the Act. A person will not be guilty of supplying an interactive gambling service if they did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained that the interactive gambling service was being provided to Australian customers or customers in a designated country. The Act establishes a complaints scheme which allows individuals to complain to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABA) about internet content that is prohibited under the Act. The ABA is empowered to investigate complaints. If the service is hosted in Australia and the ABA considers that the complaint should be referred to the Australian police force, then the ABA must refer the complaint to a member of the Australian police force. If the service is hosted overseas then the ABA can refer the complaint to the Australian police force and issue a notice to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to take reasonable steps to prevent end users from accessing the content. The Act also prohibits the advertising of interactive gambling services. A copy of the Act is available from this site in Ms Word. This newsletter provides a summary only of the subject matter covered, without the assumption of a duty of care by Freehills. The summary is not intended to be nor should it be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other professional advice.


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