PROPOSAL TO MAKE CHARGEBACKS LEGAL IN OZ
22nd April, 2011 at 11:10:16
Anti-online gambling politician has a new idea on how to stop internet gambling operators
The Australian anti-online gambling politician Nick Xenophon has a new idea to control internet gambling - legalise chargebacks on credit cards.
A report in the Sydney Morning Herald suggests that internet gamblers who lose playing internet casino and poker games would be able to void unsuccessful credit card bets under legislation to be tabled in Parliament next month.
Xenophon, an independent senator in the Australian parliament, is the man behind the proposal, which seeks to crack down on illegal internet betting. The senator will also propose stricter advertising controls on companies with wagering products and their affiliated sites.
Australian law prohibits the operation of online casinos and poker rooms online, but there have been few if any prosecutions, according to the newspaper, despite an estimated A$1 billion wagered on internet sites every year. And there are hundreds of offshore sites ready and willing to take Australian action.
"With voided credit card bets, I have to say there's something appealing to me about online casinos losing their shirts rather than the punters," Xenophon told the newspaper. ''It would certainly make online casinos think twice about accepting Australian cards.''
Although these firms cannot advertise in Australia, some use affiliated sites - where people play for fun rather than money - to sponsor sports teams sides.
The newspaper claims that GP Information Services, a subsidiary of Pokerstars, which is headquartered on the Isle of Man in Europe, employs 200 people in Chatswood, a suburb on the North Shore of Sydney.
Craig Meagher, a former general manager of the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust who now works for GP Information Services, refused to discuss online betting with the Herald.
Companies that breach the law can be fined up to $1.1 million a day.
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