Internet gambling ban not foolproof

Internet gambling ban not foolproof

3/13/2001 (By Selina Mitchell, The Austrailian) A KEY government report says banning gambling on the internet is technically feasible, but will never be foolproof.

Enforcing a ban is technically and legally possible for the commonwealth, the National Office for the Information Economy says in a draft of its report commissioned by the federal Government. The draft has been obtained by The Australian.

On the surface, the report appears to be good news for the Howard Government, which is keen to prevent interactive betting exacerbating problem gambling in Australia. But the draft also notes that a ban would be expensive to implement and support, and not 100 per cent effective.

The technology-based options required to support a ban would cost millions of dollars to implement and maintain, while prohibition could have negative consequences on the performance of the internet and access costs, the draft report warns.

“Determined users would probably be able to evade technological options for enforcing a ban on interactive gambling,” it says.

“However, a ban need not be 100 per cent to achieve its goals. A ban can still be effective if it deters a majority of law-abiding consumers from undertaking an undesirable activity.”

Banning interactive gambling could generate benefits to the economy of more than $90 million, the draft adds.

“It is also likely that a ban would boost state and territory revenues by making would-be online gamblers seek out substitute offline gambling products and other entertainment options all of which are taxed at a higher rate than interactive gambling.”

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