Issue 29
March 28 - April 3, 2001
Volume 1
page 2
 

Australia Moves to Ban
Internet Gambling

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - Communications Minister Richard Alston said March 28 the Australian federal government would move shortly to introduce a bill to ban Australians from offering Internet gambling and wagering services to residents of Australia.

'The prohibition will apply to all gaming and wagering services, including poker machines, casino games, sports betting and lotteries, that are offered on a commercial basis over the Internet or through online delivery systems such as interactive television and advanced mobile-phone technologies,' he said.

But the ban won't apply to Australian gambling service providers offering such services to people 'who are physically located overseas,' Mr. Alston added.

'While it is a matter for other countries to decide how they will approach online gambling, Australia's status as one of the world's leading problem gambling nations demands that we take decisive action to protect the most vulnerable in the community,' the minister said.

The new laws will place the onus on gambling service providers to determine where users are physically located, not on Internet service providers.

In relation to foreign gambling service providers, the government will require Internet service providers to inform and make available to their customers a user-based filter of such gambling services.

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New London Target for Connecticut's First Urban Casino - HARTFORD, CT - First it was Hartford in 1992. Then it was Bridgeport in 1995. Now New London is the target for the state's first urban casino, which would be built and owned by the Eastern Pequot Indians of North Stonington if they win tribal recognition from the federal government. "They do have a hell of a proposal," New London Mayor Ernest Hewett said March 21. "They're talking about doing things downtown, giving money in lieu of taxes, all those things that are good for a distressed city." What concerns him, he said, is the possibility that a casino could deter other kinds of development, particularly expansion by the area's pre-eminent high-tech employer, Pfizer Inc. The pros and cons of a casino will be debated vigorously in New London and at the state level in the coming months as the Eastern Pequots continue the sales job they launched March 20 in meetings with the board of the local chamber of commerce and with The Day newspaper. The Eastern Pequots also have met privately with Hewett and other members of the city council. New London has a population of 25,671, ranking it 41st among the state's cities and towns, behind such suburbs as Glastonbury and Wethersfield, according to the Courant.

Hong Kong's Bookie Won't Bet on Change - HONG KONG, CHINA - For more than a century, the Hong Kong Jockey Club has had a monopoly over Hong Kong's love of the game of chance. Now, Internet bookies are pushing into Hong Kong luring away punters and eating into the Jockey Club's bottom line--revenues have fallen almost 20% since 1997. Online gambling has become an urgent problem in Hong Kong where the unique nature of the Jockey Club turns the loss of betting dollars into a problem for every taxpayer. The club has been a cornerstone of modern Hong Kong, donating all its profits to the government and charities. It is the territory's largest taxpayer, contributing 11% of the government's revenues last year, enough to fund the entire police force for a year. Without the club's dues, Hong Kong's low 15% maximum salaries tax rate would soar to over 20%. If it is to survive the Internet onslaught, the Jockey Club needs to change tack. But burdened by its not-for-profit and monopoly legacy, the club is sitting on the sidelines, refusing to face its rival head on. Instead, it is lobbying the government to ban Internet gambling, a law that will be very difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.

Prince Naseem Hamed vs. Marco Antonio Barrera

Undefeated Prince Naseem Hamed (35-0, 31 KOs) will face one of his toughest fights yet against two-time world champion Marco Antonio Barrera (52-3) for the WBO Featherweight Championship belt in a 10-round bout April 7 at MGM Grand's Grand Garden Arena.

Barrera (52-3) has earned three victories in a row since his much-publicized split-decision defeat to Erik Morales on Feb. 19, 2000 at Mandalay Bay.

Dana Rosenblatt, of Minden, Mass., takes on Stephane Quellet, Canada, in a 10-round super middleweights undercard bout.

DATE: April 7, 2001

SHOWTIME: Doors open at 3:30 pm

TICKETS: $75, $150, $300, $600 plus tax

For more information please call The MGM Grand Box Office at 800-646-7787.

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