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Betfair Banned: CEO Outraged - 19th March 2009
(Credit: Gambling911)

Following leakage of an Australian "Ban List", Betfair CEO Andrew Twaits expressed outraged with government officials. Twaits was unaware that his company's website had been blacklisted as part of an effort to prevent viewing of child pornography.

"We didn't know [about the ban]. We've been licensed to operate in Australia for three years and have never received a complaint or any allegation that Betfair locally or globally is not allowed usage by Australians.

"The global Betfair site is used by Australians every day."

The implications are enormous. Earlier today, reported on how the list of websites blacklisted in Australia expanded to over 2300. These included YouTube links and some Christian websites along with online poker portals.

"We're will the madness end? The report stats that Betfair bas been banned in Australia! Is horse racing betting, boxing betting and eating meat pies and driving Holden Cars going to be banned also?" asked Australian Media Man Greg Tingle. "That's the direction things are heading in.

"I will repeat my thoughts on on a worldwide trend when things get ‘banned'... Citizens (and business) revolt and industries go underground, sometimes generating more money, however the risks increase and consumers and the industry no longer enjoy the same safeguards as it becomes unregulated.

"In addition, matters of insurance can becoming tricky, as an insurance company may be hesitant to insure a business sector which the government of the day deems "illegal". I have a strong suspicion some of the stuff the Australian government is doing is actually illegal. As they say, the law is an ass, and it appears that Australia has too many jackasses in political office at the moment."

Perhaps Tingle was referring to The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, who on Thursday condemned the reported leak and publication of a list which includes prohibited internet addresses.

"The leak and publication of prohibited URLs is grossly irresponsible. It undermines efforts to improve cyber-safety and create a safe online environment for children," Senator Conroy said.

"Under existing laws the ACMA blacklist includes URLs relating to child sexual abuse, rape, incest, bestiality, sexual violence and detailed instruction in crime."

"No-one interested in cyber-safety would condone the leaking of these addresses."

But Tingle believes Conroy is doing more harm than good with such assertions and attempts to censor.

"I predict that these jackass submissions by government are going to cause more problems than they cure".



Anna Bligh accused to pandering to gambling giants, by Renee Viellaris - 15th January 2009
(Credit: The Courier-Mail)

The Bligh Government has been accused of pandering to online gambling giants as it moves to repeal laws that stop advertising during televised sport.

It comes as Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser has revealed the Government was not planning to prosecute online betting giant Betfair for potentially breaching state laws.

Mr Fraser said he was also considering repealing laws that allow potential legal action against online betting agencies that advertise in Queensland.

But Federal Independent Senator Nick Xenophon, who has campaigned against gambling, yesterday called on the Rudd Government to intervene.

The issue emerged after a sponsorship was struck between Channel 9 and Betfair, in which cricket commentators quoted odds framed by Betfair during this year's high-rating coverage.

It could technically be in breach of Queensland's Interactive Gambling (Player Protection) Act because Betfair is not registered in the state and is prohibited from advertising here.

However, Mr Fraser said a cloud had been placed over Queensland's laws after Betfair successfully challenged a West Australian Government decision to prevent it from operating.

"The Government will, in coming months, be considering legislative changes including repeal, required because of the decision," Mr Fraser said.

"In the meantime, the Government will not be pursuing prosecutions under this provision until the matter is resolved."

Senator Xenophon said the court decision meant state governments were being forced to "dismantle" laws designed to protect consumers.

"It is terribly disappointing that state governments are going to have to rip up their own laws banning this type of gambling advertising," he said.

"The Commonwealth has the power to regulate advertising like this. It could nip this problem in the bud right now and I am urging them to do so.

"The association between Betfair and the TV network blurs the lines between a family-friendly activity like sport and gambling, which is very much an adult activity."

But Betfair chief executive officer Andrew Twaits dismissed Senator Xenophon's concerns and denied the betting giant was breaching Queensland laws.

Mr Twaits said Betfair did not operate like online poker machine or casino sites, which he considered to be the target of the Queensland Act.




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