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Andrew Twaits, the online gambling group Betfair's senior man in Australia, has come out strongly for tighter regulations, including a tougher approach to online poker. Twaits said online poker sites, which he claims cost the local industry hundreds of millions of dollars annually, should also be part of new legislation aimed at cracking down on new measures to stop match-fixing in sport.
The measures have been backed by Australia's big four online gaming sites, Sportsbet, Betfair, Centrebet and Sportingbet.
"While it is pleasing to see both the federal and state governments taking the integrity of betting in sports seriously and on a united front, the present legislation is clearly not working when it comes to online poker," Twaits said.
"Online sports betting in this country turns over A$300 million a year, is highly regulated and we pay our taxes, while operators of online poker sites are not, many of which are controlled and run offshore.
"That's the real challenge facing not just the federal and state governments of this country, but governments across the globe.
"It is estimated that the turnover in this and other forms of illegal betting is A$125 billion worldwide. That's why as an industry we welcome any tightening of the present legislation in this country."
Twaits' call comes as ministers for sport from the federal, state and territory governments prepare to meet today (Friday) to address issues of preserving the integrity of sporting events.
Executive chairman of Sportsbet, Matthew Tripp, said the big four operators remained committed to working with governments to ensure a zero tolerance policy.
"Our customers and the broader community demand sporting events be contested on their merits and without the taint of corruption," Tripp said.
"We also support consistent legislation across Australia to combat match-fixing and penalties of up to 10 years in jail for individuals found guilty of corrupt behaviour."
Source: InfoPowa News
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