Gambling With Australian Federal Police; Legal Eagles Ready

Written by:
Greg Tingle
Published on:
Australian Federal Police

G'day punters, journos, high rollers - casino whales, gambling millionaires and billionaires, media tycoons, politicians, insiders, outsiders, law enforcement agencies and agencies, legal eagles ... one and all. You know who you are. Today we take a look at the legalities of what is one of the world's most lucrative and exciting industries... you guessed it... gaming, gambling and igaming, which is of course part of the entertainment, technology and financial series sector. Our friends at the Australian Federal Police have come under the spotlight, with some folks calling on them to investigate various Australian sports betting and gaming operators. Readers may also recall the question of what constitutes an Australian or international operation, when the internet is in fact a global medium, and some companies that cover sports betting and gaming, are actually not sports betting or gaming companies if you follow. Media Man and Gambling911 probe the situation with our trusty crowd control batons and plastic handcuffs...

NRL And Others May Get Probe By Australian Federal Police; Legal Eagles At The Ready!...

The Australian Federal Police ignored potential breaches of interactive gambling legislation involving several NRL clubs that were alleged to have overseas-hosted betting agencies advertising on their uniform because of "other priorities". The actual names of the clubs and betting agencies involved have not been disclosed by the AFP, but they have confirmed no action was taken in relation to 5 complaints about alleged breaches of interactive gambling regulations last year. You don't have to be a genius to figure out some of their names. Poker logo on the shorts, shirts, signage at TV stations, a plug or two on TV, and you get the idea maties. Breaches of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 can cost corporations $1.1 million for each day of illegal operations, while corporations can be fined $66,000 for publishing advertisements.

The complaints are outlined in a Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy report on advertisements for interactive gambling services. The AFP said they had received two referrals from the Australian Communications and Media Authority regarding alleged advertising of online gambling services in Australia. It is believed these referrals relate to two breaches by NRL clubs, or separate breaches by the same club. "The AFP advised ACMA that the two referrals had not been accepted for investigation," a spokeswoman said. The AFP would not comment on why the referrals were not accepted, referring to the Case Categorisation Prioritisation Model on their website.

The AFP assess "the incident type and the impact of the matter on Australian society, the importance of the matter to both the client and the AFP in terms of the roles assigned to them by Government and ministerial direction (and) the resources required by the AFP to undertake the matter" before prioritising certain investigations. The department's report states that the AFP informed it that two investigations would not proceed because of "other priorities". It also said there were three other matters under consideration, which do not involve NRL teams, but the AFP confirmed these were also not accepted for investigation. The AFP said one of the matters was referred "to the relevant international law enforcement authority for information. Readers are reminded to consider what constitutes a gaming or gambling company, what a media, publicity and internet portal development company is.

For the record Media Man is a media, publicity and internet portal development company, and covers over a dozen different business sectors including but not limited to entertainment and celebrity, property and financial, gaming and igaming, travel, tourism and lifestyle, politics, business, technology, sports and social and community. We cover news, gossip, interviews, multimedia, events, promotions and more. Media Man International enjoys a global audience and covers news and happenings around the world, and has been operational since 2011.

Our legal eagles team includes the one and only Jamie Nettleton of Addisons Lawyers, who we think is one of the best in his field on a global scale. It's understand 'Our Jamie' has consulted with such well respected and high profile companies such as Crown Limited, Tabcorp... and of course the Media Man network family. The writer wishes to congratulation the Australian Federal Police on what we think is a job well done. We remain very impressed with their efforts, which recently led to the arrest of a well known poker pro on the Australian and international poker tour who is alleged to be part of a cocaine ring. Great to see the Fed's have their priorities right and after going after real crime, rather than on wild goose chases. Way to go 'Boys (and girls) In Blue'.

Australian Gambling Revenue: Federal VS States War; Gillard And Wilkie Deal Gets Heat...

The battle between the Commonwealth and Australian states over pokies continues machines. In return for support on the floor of Parliament, Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, promised the Tassie MP Andrew Wilkie that by close of business today she would have legal advice on whether the Commonwealth could go it alone in imposing change. At stake are reforms to combat problem gambling...and billions of dollars of state revenue. Gillard has undertaken to change how the machines work. She plans to  implement a commitment scheme. Gamblers set a limit on how much they are prepared to lose...require machines to display dynamic warnings and impose a limit of $250 on ATM withdrawals in poker machine venues.

Gamblers have already found ways to combat the system, speaking and dealing with their other pokie mates, as well as some hitting internet gambling websites more often, so they are not so restricted, with some getting further disillusioned with clubs and the Australian government in general, blaming the gabling haters and one or two radical and agenda driven ministers, senators and the like. Gillard's issue is that poker machines, and the tax they generate, are guarded ferociously by the states.

The Commonwealth has traditionally kept out of this area and the states want it to stay that way. Funny that. It is not only issue gamblers who may have 'one armed bandit' addiction. State treasuries suffer the same affliction. On average, the states raise 10% of their revenue from gambling. In NSW, gambling taxes generate $1.6 billion, or about $300 per adult head... 70% of it from pokies. The Wilkie "agreement" (deal), which has been questioned by legal eagles and potentially being illegal, requires Gillard first to ask the states to carry out the reforms themselves. If they have not agreed to do so by May 31, the government must impose the changes. The legal advice due today will provide an initial answer about whether this is possible. The constitution does not give the federal Parliament power over gambling but Parliament could impose conditions on how trading corporations operate poker machines.

It's important to remember that the constitution on that in the event of a conflict between federal and state law, the federal law prevails. The Commonwealth has significant powers in this area but this is not so extensive as to cover every hotel and club with a machine. Federal power falls short for venues not operating as a corporation or across a state border. This may persuade some clubs and hotels to ditch their corporate status to escape federal regulation. This could get ugly and complicated. Gillard will want to avoid this by securing state co-operation. She may do so through a "compensation package" (another bribe or sorts) to the states but this seems off the radar due to the Commonwealth's stressed financial position. Another option would be for the Commonwealth to reduce its grants to a state by the same amount the state receives in pokie revenue, unless the state agrees to implement the reforms.

The Commonwealth has had success with this art of war maneuver previously. The idea has also been discussed as a way of basically forcing the states to eliminate mining royalties in favour of a federal resource super profits tax. Australian and state clubs say the the pokie war could overshadow the mining tax war that was the talk of the business world for the better half of 2010. The Commonwealth might achieve its reforms but it's wait and see. The states rely on gambling revenue in a big way. The underlying financial positions of the states, with the possible exception of Western Australia (which gambling king James Packer is very keen on) are desperate. They generate less than 70% of the revenue they need for their annual budget, including for essential services. Without handouts from the Commonwealth, their finances would collapse. The states have been in stress since World War II when the Commonwealth snatched control over income tax. In 1997 the High Court decision in Ngo Ngo Ha deprived them of lucrative taxes on alcohol, tobacco and petrol worth a massive $5 billion a year. With hardly any areas left in which to raise revenue, the states have turned to sin tax type areas - gambling, beer and cigarettes.  

Could pot one day become legal, so it can be taxed?. Poker machine reform has put the Commonwealth and states on a collision course for war. The Gillard government is not quite sure what to so with "our friend" Wilkie because its somewhat depends on his continuing support, but the word is many other MP's think Gillard might be better of without him, and he is known to be a very bias rep, not speaking for the people for the main, but just pushing his own agenda, with significant ties to the bible bashers and numerous anti gambling folks, which means his is not acting in a balanced fashion, pandering to the wishes of small by vocal groups.

So, the Commonwealth will likely win over the states, but it might take than a lot of time, money and embarrassment to do it. "Problem gambling" will likely always exist. People will be people. Governments want their share of the jackpot. Folks, that's just the way it is. Blame the government, Federal and / or state, and if you want a beer, cigy or care to try your luck on the slots, fruits and pokies, do it, but always have fun and set limits. See you at the bar!

Popular Mainstream Brands Involved With Gambling And Gaming In Australia (Summary But Not Full List By Any Stretch)...

NRL, AFL, Marvel Entertainment, Hasbro, Sony, Google, Frank Sinatra Enterprises, Virgin Games, World Wrestling Entertainment (poker and more) 20th Century Fox,

Activision Publishing, Paramount Pictures, Trifecta Entertainment and Media, Edgar Rice Burroughs, StudioCanal, NFL, DreamWorks Pictures, RKO Radio Pictures, Universal Pictures, Fox Sports, Ten Network, Nine Entertainment Co, and Media Man.

Take the time to research and learn games before placing down money

Media Man Casino News Media and Gambling911 are website portals. Not casinos as such, however are recognised as world leading websites that cover the sector and act as central points to games, news, reviews and more.

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Tell us in the forum. 

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen sectors covered

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