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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 1028 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

believes that we need to extend the reporting date. If we are able to finish the report earlier, we have agreed that we will present a report to your good self, Mr Speaker. As I have said, all members would like as much time as possible to take advantage of this opportunity to review self-government.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


Motion (by Mr Humphries) agreed to:

That Executive business be called on.


Debate resumed from 28 May 1998, on motion by Ms Carnell:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR QUINLAN (10.59): Mr Speaker, I rise to support this Bill. Technology moves apace and it would appear that it is necessary for States and Territories to implement legislation because an attempt at the national level appears to have failed or foundered. The Bill provides a regulatory framework for the conduct of interactive gambling within the ACT. It also provides a licensing regime to approve providers for interactive gambling activities and allows for recognition of providers between jurisdictions.

The Bill provides a level of protection and security for users and minors. The provision for the security of minors includes supplying adequate proof of age to licensed operators and the direction of revenue earned from this form of gambling to an education program warning players to safeguard their access codes to prevent unauthorised use by minors. Similar warnings are also displayed on web sites. The Bill sets limits on amounts of individual and cumulative bets allowable, and credit betting will be prohibited. The legislation also makes provision for a husband, wife or other significant person to apply for an order to be placed upon a problem gambler, banning them from participating in interactive gambling until the order is revoked. This is a new concept for the ACT. There is no current legislation in the ACT; but it appears that there is some in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

We accept this Bill with some reservations. There are elements of it which impinge upon the personal rights and liberties of individuals. Listed throughout the Bill are a number of powers that are not clearly defined. They are based on "prevailing conditions" or "should the circumstances dictate", et cetera. Nevertheless, we accept that there is a pressing need for a regulatory framework to control interactive gambling, Internet gambling, which already exists, much of which is based offshore, and much of which does not guarantee the participants a degree of protection which they should have.

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