Thursday 3. December, 2015

Digital Industry Group Association Claims Blocking Illegal Gambling Can’t Work

Major online companies that make up the Digital Industry Group Association and include giants such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter, have stated their belief that blocking illegal online gambling sites will be “unworkable”. These comments were made as part of their submission to the federal government-endorsed Barry O’Farrell review into the online gambling laws in Australia.

“We consider there to be fundamental flaws and significant practical difficulties with any attempts to filter the Internet such that it may not be possible to automatically block content,” the group said in its submission. “Who would determine if a service is illegal and would entire websites be blocked if there are both legal and illegal services on the website?”

The ability to block gambling sites would be “unworkable” in the view of the group due to the many technological options that exist for bypassing website filters, as well as virtual private networks (VPN). The group also suggested that the digital sector could not solve the problems of the gaming sector and expressed concern about the legal liability of them blocking access to commercial websites.

“There is no existing legal precedent in Australia requiring Internet companies that are not ISPs to filter access to websites,” stated the group. “It further strikes us that the integrity of racing and sports in Australia could be better maintained with stronger enforcement of existing laws. The Australian betting and gambling industry should not be looking to the digital industry to solve these problems.”

The Australian Bankers Association, which includes National Australia Bank, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac, submitted its opinion to the O’Farrell report and expressed resistance to the suggestion that blocking financial transactions with international online gambling sites would be “an effective way to regulate online wagering and gambling.”

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