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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1120 ..

Race and Sports Bookmaking Bill 2001

Mr Humphries , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (10.35): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I ask for leave to have my presentation speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows:

Mr Speaker, the Bill introduces the Race and Sports Bookmaking Act 2001.

This legislation replaces the Bookmakers Act 1985.

In 1999 the Allen Consulting Group conducted a review of ACT legislation relating to ACTTAB Limited and Bookmakers to ensure compliance with National Competition Policy principles. As Members will be aware, the report of the review and the Government response to the report were tabled on 29 March 2000. The Government supported the majority of the recommendations of the report and gave in principle agreement to amend the Bookmakers Act.

The extent of the amendments to the Act to incorporate the relevant recommendations, however, would have made the Act incongruous in terms of a mix of drafting styles, language and section numbering. As a result, the Act has been redrafted in the form of the Race and Sports Bookmaking Bill 2001 incorporating the Government supported recommendations of the review.

Broadly, the Bill is to provide for the appropriate regulation of race and sports bookmaking activities in the Territory. The major changes in the Bill to the current administration and regulation of bookmaking include:

� the Gambling and Racing Commission assuming the functions of the Bookmakers Licensing Committee and the Registrar of Bookmakers;

� enhanced suitability requirements for all bookmakers and their agents;

� powers for the Commission to vary the security guarantee of a bookmaker, to impose conditions on a licence, to give directions to a licensee and to take disciplinary action against a licensee;

� for persons affected by decisions of the Commission, there are clearly stated provisions relating to the reconsideration of the decisions;

� the requirement for holders of sports bookmaking licences to inform the commission about certain changes including, for a corporation, directors and influential shareholders and, if another corporation is an influential shareholder, changes to the directors and influential shareholders of that corporation;

� dispensing with the need for sports bookmakers and their agents to hold a race bookmaker's licence as the two activities are quite distinct;

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