Net association bets with its body

With the Howard government's proposed moratorium on online gaming licences fresh in mind, Australia's Internet Industry Association (IIA) has formed an internet gambling pro-regulation taskforce.

According to the IIA, the government's proposal to ban internet gambling outright will encourage Australians to visit unregulated overseas sites -- undermining the government's policy of protecting Australian end users. In fact, it is known that Australian-controlled online casinos have already opened in Vanuatu, outside Australian government jurisdiction.

"For a government that says it is committed to the information economy, sometimes it is breathtaking how little they understand it," said Peter Coroneos, the IIA's executive director.

He described the government's intention to ban, rather than regulate gaming on the internet as "well-intentioned but . . . spectacularly ill-conceived".

IIA member Steve Toneguzzo will chair the online gaming taskforce. Toneguzzo was previously involved with the Online Gambling Association of Australia (OLGAA), which is now part of the IIA.

The IIA says it has already prepared a 50-page submission to the Senate Select Committee on Information Technology.

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