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Search Engines Break AU Online Gambling Ban?

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the chips-where-there-aren't-supposed-to-be dept.

The Internet 196

An anonymous reader writes "According to a ZDNet report, authorities in Australia are investigating Google and a few other search engines for possible breach of the country's online gambling laws. The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 prohibits advertising of gambling services on Web sites where 'it is likely that the majority of that site's users are physically present in Australia'. Banned services include online casino-style gaming services such as roulette, poker, craps, online poker machines and blackjack. Breaching the Act carries a maximum penalty of AU$220,000 ($168,000) per day for individuals and AU$1.1 million ($843,000) per day for corporations."

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zomg (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334497)

Re:zomg (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334623)

Yummy yummy yummy

I got cum in my tummy.

Well (4, Funny)

cblanc (907387) | about 9 years ago | (#13334499)

Sounds like Australia wants to cash out

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334634)

lol what?

I knew it!!! (5, Funny)

Eberlin (570874) | about 9 years ago | (#13334504)

I just KNEW one of these days, that "I'm Feeling Lucky" button would get them in trouble.

Re:I knew it!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334518)

OMG T3H L0LZ!!!1!!1!!!!

Not funny.

Re:I knew it!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334832)

Yes it was; you're just envious that you didn't post it first.

Simple. (1)

Tuxedo Jack (648130) | about 9 years ago | (#13334505)

Google can toss a set of statistics towards the cops showing the sheer amount of accesses from everywhere _ELSE_ compared to Australia. That overrides the majority requirement, I'd think.

Re:Simple. (0, Troll)

Methlin (604355) | about 9 years ago | (#13334527)

Except they're talking about Google Australia, not Google (USA). You'd know that had you RTFA.

Re:Simple. (0, Offtopic)

carlos_benj (140796) | about 9 years ago | (#13334693)

You'd know that had you RTFA.

Referenced The Friendly Aussie?

Re:Simple. (3, Insightful)

Alereon (660683) | about 9 years ago | (#13334532)

Google can toss a set of statistics towards the cops showing the sheer amount of accesses from everywhere _ELSE_ compared to Australia. That overrides the majority requirement, I'd think.

This is probably referring to the Google Australia [google.com.au] site. Still, it's enraging that Australia, or any other country, thinks it's acceptable to infringe on people's fundamental freedom of speech.

Re:Simple. (3, Insightful)

damiangerous (218679) | about 9 years ago | (#13334709)

You don't have the freedom of speech to solicit someone to perform an illegal act, and it's not really reasonable to think you should. Keep in mind that soliciting someone to perform an illegal act is very different than simply talking about the act in any other context. You can certainly make a case that gambling should be legalized, but that's a separate issue. It's not in Australia, so you can't go around saying "Come here and gamble!" any more than you can say "Come here and buy heroin!"

Re:Simple. (2, Insightful)

Vombatus (777631) | about 9 years ago | (#13334799)

You can certainly make a case that gambling should be legalized, but that's a separate issue. It's not in Australia, so you can't go around saying "Come here and gamble!" any more than you can say "Come here and buy heroin!"

Most forms of gambling are legal in Australia. Most of the State Governments run some form of lottery, which raises much revenue (not to mention all the casinos and poker machines).

As far as I know, it is only illegal to run (and advertise) an online gambling site from within Australia. There is a press release at http://www.dcita.gov.au/Article/0,,0_4-2_4008-4_15 618,00.html [dcita.gov.au] from the man once described as the "world's greatest luddite", Richard Alston, the former Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&c2coff=1&q=w orld's+greatest+luddite&btnG=Search&meta=cr%3Dcoun tryAU [google.com.au]

Re:Simple. (1)

w98 (831730) | about 9 years ago | (#13334984)

run some form of lottery

a lottery is just a tax on people that are really bad at math...

Re:Simple. (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 9 years ago | (#13334721)

...on people's fundamental freedom of speech.

Not all countries have freedom of speech. I don't know what Austrailia's stand on this is, but it's a tad parochial to assume that the US Bill of Rights holds everywhere.

Re:Simple. (2, Interesting)

Alereon (660683) | about 9 years ago | (#13334923)

Not all countries have freedom of speech. I don't know what Austrailia's stand on this is, but it's a tad parochial to assume that the US Bill of Rights holds everywhere.

Americans don't have freedom of speech because of the first ammendment, Americans have the first ammendment because of freedom of speech. The Bill of Rights enumerates a number of the basic freedoms that apply to all people everywhere; they cannot be legislated away just because a particular government or ruler doesn't like them.

Re:Simple. (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 9 years ago | (#13334998)

The Bill of Rights enumerates a number of the basic freedoms that apply to all people everywhere; they cannot be legislated away just because a particular government or ruler doesn't like them.

As long as you're talking about The United States of America, you're right. However, we're talking about Austrailia, and the Bill of Rights doesn't apply there. That's my point.

Re:Simple. (1)

Meagermanx (768421) | about 9 years ago | (#13335064)

Just because you make up a freedom doesn't mean you have it.
I can say I'm free to indecently expose myself, but if it's not legal, they can still arrest me for it, so it doesn't count as a right.

Re:Simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13335203)

Americans don't have freedom of speech because of the first ammendment, Americans have the first ammendment because of freedom of speech. The Bill of Rights enumerates a number of the basic freedoms that apply to all people everywhere; they cannot be legislated away just because a particular government or ruler doesn't like them.
 
I bet you also believe in magic to make these rights inalienable.

Re:Simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13335043)

I do believe that Australia is a signatory of the UN Universal Decleration of Human Rights, which would mean that their citizens do have freedom of speech, gaurenteed by treaty obligations.

Re:Simple. (0, Redundant)

Anubis350 (772791) | about 9 years ago | (#13334540)

but what about google's au gateway?

Re:Simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334953)

You should submit your sig to this guy [bitey.net] . His collection could use some updating.

Re:Simple. (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | about 9 years ago | (#13334546)

What if they don't have such a set?

Re:Simple. (1)

merreborn (853723) | about 9 years ago | (#13334976)

Asside from google.com.au, there are likely also google adsense ads on all sorts of .au domains.

Hmmm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334508)

Vietnamese are all backstabbers and crooks. Just look at all the fraud from online ecommerce. If you get a legitimate order from Vietnam, that'd be a miracle!

They want whats best for problem gamblers. (2, Interesting)

nmoog (701216) | about 9 years ago | (#13334523)

Ha ha! They just don't want to lose any of their precious income from Pokie machines at the pubs. Those babies bring in $50,000 per annum - don't want that cash heading elsewhere now, do we!

Re:They want whats best for problem gamblers. (1)

paper_boats (872407) | about 9 years ago | (#13335038)

Yeah, I am a little suspicious of the government just trying to keep people gambling in Australia instead of blowing their money in offshore online casinos. The article mentions that "the Act is technically breached even by listing online casino sites in search results".

So it's not just the advertising that the government has a problem with. I can't really see google or yahoo going to the trouble to filter out gambling sites from search results.

This just in... (4, Insightful)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | about 9 years ago | (#13334528)

... Australians have been unable to access their various stock brokerages through Google.

Seriously, banning gambling has got to be one of the more evident forms of government paternalism. Business is about evaluating risks and taking them. It just happens that gambling is typically a bad risk.

And sure, some people can be habitual gamblers... but that applies to just about any other activity in life.

If you try and make stupidity illegal, you'll never want for laws.

Re:This just in... (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | about 9 years ago | (#13334579)

Why stop at stock brokers? We need to ban insurance now, too!

Re:This just in... (1)

onecaribou (209126) | about 9 years ago | (#13334733)

What's amusing about the whole situation is that government paternalism is particularly inept at enforcing bans on gambling and other moral vices on the web.

Governments can take pop shots at intermediaries (like EBay +Yahoo over Nazi paraphernalia) but they are essentially helpless in the end as users find alternate methods to fulfill their desires.

- E -

Japan-A-Madness
http://jmad.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:This just in... (1)

oliverthered (187439) | about 9 years ago | (#13334834)

It just happens that gambling is typically a bad risk. ... If you try and make stupidity illegal, you'll never want for laws.

Would you like to live in a world where you have to second guess all companies because their trying to screw you out of as much money as possible, or one where companies where honest and responsible.

I would expect that it is the view of the Austrailian government that gambling is never as honest of as responsible as it should be, and any Advertising is bad and dishonest so they ban it.

I think it would be wonderfull world if politicians never lied and companies were responsible and truthfull, but it's never going to happen. Sometimes legislation preventing an activity from being promoted (whilst not actually preventing the activity itself) is a step in the right direction.

Re:This just in... (1)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | about 9 years ago | (#13334903)

I've seen ads for casinos touting .98 average payout on the dollar. If it's honesty you want, force casinos to tell their average rate of payout the same way that corporations are transparent and food products list their ingredients.

I'm all for informed consent, cigarette warning labels, etc. That's different than a ban. The standard here is really not consistant from one risky activity to another.

Re:This just in... (1)

TeraCo (410407) | about 9 years ago | (#13335097)

I've seen ads for casinos touting .98 average payout on the dollar.

A payout rate of between 92% and 98% sounds about right for poker machines, however the trick is that they give you the money in such a way that you keep playing.

ie: Put in $100, while you lose that $100, you've won $95. You don't realise because the 'credit' amount is slowly decreasing. Then, as you lose the $95 that you won, you 'win' $90. And so on, until you have "none money".

Re:This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13335144)

You can't really call that vanilla Wine if it has the DirectX stuff patched in.

That aside, it looks like a great project.

Re:This just in... (1)

Khakionion (544166) | about 9 years ago | (#13335244)

That's why it's called "Vanilla Wine with DirectX 9." Otherwise, it'd just be "Vanilla Wine."

Re:This just in... (1)

trime (733350) | about 9 years ago | (#13334839)

Yes, but it's even weirder than that. Gambling isn't illegal in Australia - in fact, it's a big source of revenue for a lot of people (including the government). But advertising gambling is illegal.

More evident forms of government paternalism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334844)

More like a protection racket considering Australia runs its own state lottery.

Re:This just in... (1)

Traa (158207) | about 9 years ago | (#13334921)

Sorry but you are so wrong. Quite a few countries have very strict laws prohibiting gambling. The US does in most states. Practically everything gambling related in the Netherlands is run by the governament. Besides there are a bunch of laws that are meant to protect persons from themselves. And no, a gambling addiction isn't the same as being addicted to chocolat.

What is different about the situation in Australia is that the governament is picking a fight with something that is too many steps away from the problem.
Problem: gambling addiction
Solution: prohibit gambling
Extension to solution: prohibit advertisements for gambling
Overreaction: trying to prevent people from visiting website that are located in other countries and are showing gambling advertisements.
Stupid: trying to fine said websites.

 

Get them on terminology. (3, Insightful)

reality-bytes (119275) | about 9 years ago | (#13334534)

Is google really a web 'site'? If you go to google Australia [google.com.au] You're presented with very little more than a web-facing interface to a search-engine.

Certainly, if you type in 'Casinos in Melbourne' you will probably find a lot of adverts at the side of your search - but the ads are usually fairly relevant to what *you* (mr consumer) wanted to find anyway.

Re:Get them on terminology. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334607)

I think the idea of the law would be that people are hopelessly addicted to gambling so even an advert would send them spiraling around the roulette wheel. so to speak.

Re:Get them on terminology. (3, Funny)

dlt074 (548126) | about 9 years ago | (#13334725)

i thought the google logo would be upside down. :(

Anybody remember the day... (4, Interesting)

Sheetrock (152993) | about 9 years ago | (#13334547)

When large-scale Internet services such as newsgroups would simply disconnect a country for not playing well with the rest of the Internet?

Maybe it's time to start looking into that again.

Re:Anybody remember the day... (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | about 9 years ago | (#13334804)

I concur. The actions of the USA, its government, and particular the department of commerce have clearly shown that they need to grow up and learn to play with others. :)

Laugh - It's funny. Seriously, you should read up on your history; the Usenet Death Penalty was issued against corporations, not countries, and the legality of cutting off a country given existing international law and bi-/multilateral contracts is questionable at least, too.

Furthermore, what would you actually want to achieve? Do you think that the Australian government would rush to change the law because you didn't like it? For that matter, do you think that the fact that a company you're a fanboy of with an office in another country *might* be required to uphold local laws and *might* be sued if it doesn't would justify cutting off that country?

If yes, then think about what I said in the first paragraph again. Shouldn't have the rest of the world have cut off the US from the Internet back in 1998 when the DMCA was enacted, for example? And if not... why not, if you advocate cutting of Australia now?

Re:Anybody remember the day... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334808)

Poor China... they're screwed.

Google just need to (1)

TorKlingberg (599697) | about 9 years ago | (#13334548)

Google just need to pull the gambling ads from their Australia specific sites. Can't be that hard.

Re:Google just need to (1)

thegamerformelyknown (868463) | about 9 years ago | (#13334939)

Yes it does, considering the sheer complexity of the algorithm for displaying ads already....

Anyone else sick of this stuff? (5, Insightful)

tlambert (566799) | about 9 years ago | (#13334560)

Anyone else sick of this stuff?

Say Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo got together and cut Australia off for one day with a black screen of "Search Unavailable Today; Contact the Australian the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts for more information".

-- Terry

Re:Anyone else sick of this stuff? (1)

SlashdotMeNow (799901) | about 9 years ago | (#13334644)

Won't work - I would need to Google their phone number.

Re:Anyone else sick of this stuff? (1, Funny)

Infinityis (807294) | about 9 years ago | (#13334645)

Nah, the Aussies wouldn't understand it. It would probably work better if it read "G'day mate. A few varmints crawled up into the pipes and chewed up the web. No email today. But look, we've got pictures of the dingo that did it, an' boy, she's a beauty! Look at that..."

Re:Anyone else sick of this stuff? (-1, Flamebait)

fireman sam (662213) | about 9 years ago | (#13334816)

Firstly, fsck you for your racial stereotype.

Secondly (for the GP) it is not the internet users that want are complaining, it is the government. Do not disconnect the users, disconnect the government.

Re:Anyone else sick of this stuff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13335039)

Firstly, fsck you for your racial stereotype.

Dude, chill out. It was just a joke. The more you complain, the more people will do it just to see you complain.

Re:Anyone else sick of this stuff? (1)

Qbertino (265505) | about 9 years ago | (#13335054)

Firstly, fsck you for your racial stereotype.

Aussies are a race?
I'd never known!
I thought they just were an etnic group.

*David Letterman/Harald Schmidt Big Band Jab*

(Harald Schmidt is the german Letterman, for you non-germans)

Re:Anyone else sick of this stuff? (3, Funny)

AtrN (87501) | about 9 years ago | (#13335088)

varmints

Excuse me, your culture is showing.

You could possibly replace that sentence containing the offending word with,

Some bastard has buggered up the bloody 'net.

Re:Anyone else sick of this stuff? (3, Insightful)

svvampy (576225) | about 9 years ago | (#13334812)

Australia is hardly the benchmark for retarded legislation and litigation, we're still not taking grandmothers to court over copyright infractions, but I'm sure with enough lobbying we'll catch up.

Whenever Google looses a court ruling the kneejerk reaction is, well Google can just stop indexing Geico and AFP and whoever else speaks against their hegemony. Fortunately Google has more intelligent people behind the wheel who recognise the disasterousness of such a precedent.

Governments will continue to attempt to impose their controls, trying to clench their legislative fist around the internet, in the end they're doomed and our children will learn in history class with amazement that slavery used to exist and people couldn't always vote and fools used to try to cage the internet.

Guilty as charged. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334597)

Evidence [google.com.au]

Throw the book at them. Google deserves banishment from the Earth for this satanic act against the Australian citizenry.

Re:Guilty as charged. (1)

ebrandsberg (75344) | about 9 years ago | (#13334625)

I don't see any advertising on that link. I DO see a list of links, but not ads on it. Now, they may have removed them, but they disappeared real fast if so.

Well then sue themselves.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334631)

Block Google's IP and be done with it. Google isn't breaking any laws and http://www.google.com.au/ [google.com.au] goes bye-bye.

You stupid fucking posers.

How can Australia regulate sites not in Australia? (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | about 9 years ago | (#13334632)

The search engine case aside (probbably far more complicated with Google having physical presence in most countries), how can Australia hope to regulate a website that's neither physically in Australia, nor run by Australians?

If the news article is right (and it's certainly possible it's completely wrong), all that has to be true is that mostly Australians visit the site, and online gambling is advertised. So if I (A US citizen) setup a website that Australians really like, then put advertising for gambling sites on it, I've somehow broken Australian law.

This whole law sounds very fishy. Is Australia going to seek extradition for anyone running a website targeting Australians that advertises gambling (and later on maybe whatever else they don't like)?

To any Australians complaining about how the US wants to extend control of the law beyond our borders I hold up a shiny mirror. To anyone else, maybe your country is next.

Re:How can Australia regulate sites not in Austral (1, Informative)

slavemowgli (585321) | about 9 years ago | (#13334771)

You do realize that Google has an Australian office, right?

Re:How can Australia regulate sites not in Austral (1)

RobertF (892444) | about 9 years ago | (#13334818)

You do realize that Google has an Australian office, right?

You do realize that he said excluding Google, right?

The search engine case aside (probbably far more complicated with Google having physical presence in most countries),

Re:How can Australia regulate sites not in Austral (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334867)

Try asking Yahoo how their case for advertising Nazi memorabilia on pages that could be seen in France went.

Re:How can Australia regulate sites not in Austral (1)

Reaperducer (871695) | about 9 years ago | (#13334946)

This whole law sounds very fishy. Is Australia going to seek extradition for anyone running a website targeting Australians that advertises gambling (and later on maybe whatever else they don't like)?

This sounds like a Simpsons episode waiting to happen.
Be sure to bring a frog!

Re:How can Australia regulate sites not in Austral (2, Insightful)

MEGAMAID (791988) | about 9 years ago | (#13334950)

Well, you could look at what happened to this guy. man faces extradition to US [smh.com.au]
He broke no Australian laws, never set foot in the US and is facing extradition.

Re:How can Australia regulate sites not in Austral (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13335105)

He broke no Australian laws There's no software piracy laws in Australia?

Re:How can Australia regulate sites not in Austral (1)

Frogbert (589961) | about 9 years ago | (#13335072)

how can Australia hope to regulate a website that's neither physically in Australia, nor run by Australians?
It can't and it doesn't, all this stupid law does is cut Australian citizens out of any profit to be made from starting an online casino. Its a stupid law that was bought in to appease the stupid religious "Family First" party, that does nothing more then tell Religious people how to vote, and a few moral right wingers who are scared for the children.

In case you haven't noticed I think the whole situation is stupid.

Information just wants to be Free (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 9 years ago | (#13334635)

but they charge to gamble, so I guess that doens't apply here.

Google already fixed it... (5, Informative)

meatflower (830472) | about 9 years ago | (#13334643)

Do a search on www.google.com.au for "gambling" or "casino", no ads on the side. Do a search for "shrimp"...ad's ahoy. Pretty quick response!

Re:Google already fixed it... (2, Informative)

Infinityis (807294) | about 9 years ago | (#13334678)

True, but if you do "online gambling" (no quotation marks) and click "I'm feeling lucky", you get a online casino site. Could that be considered advertising?

Re:Google already fixed it... (1)

Anarchitect_in_oz (771448) | about 9 years ago | (#13335116)

I doudt not.
Once you go looking for it it's consummer information not adversiting.

As every body whos worked in a pub knows from responsible service training it not illegal to gamble or drink, it's just illegal to promote gambling ot drinking.

Re:Google already fixed it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13335048)

"Google Australia displays advertising links to online gambling sites when certain keywords are misspelt"

no ads when you type "gambling" but try typing "gambleing"

Is it just me? (4, Funny)

Fear the Clam (230933) | about 9 years ago | (#13334660)

Or does damn near everything in Australia having to do with computers, telephones, or ISPs seem to have problems? What's with the Australian government and high tech stuff?

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334968)

Yeah it's a shame really, but letting techno/xenophobes into government has been our tradition for quite a long time.
Still considering what our government is doing to the universities it will be amazing if the next generation in political office isn't obsessed with the latest pop charts and what is happening on 'Big Brother: Australia' season X.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

Anarchitect_in_oz (771448) | about 9 years ago | (#13335188)

You mean the runner up of this years Big Brother isn't going to be Prime Minister by then?

Is it just me ? (3, Insightful)

darthgnu (866920) | about 9 years ago | (#13334661)

Is it just me or governement imposed bans were meant to be broken ? If im in Australia and i'm an addicted gambler will a ban actually prevent me from gambling ? A ban only makes it harder, but it won't stop the true addicts.

The same has happened before with alchol and OxyContin bans. In the later case, it is relatively easy to get on the street. Is this really helping anyone ? Even the prevention argument seems pretty bleak.

Re:Is it just me ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334869)

Gambling (online and in person) is completely legal in Australia. So is advertising about gambling on TV on in other media. The only reason I can think of for this to come up is that the Government doesn't want people gambling off-shore (where they don't get the tax revenue), and while they can't restrict us from doing so, they can attempt to go under the radar and lower the chances that we'll stumble onto an off-shore gambling site.

for freedom (1, Flamebait)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 9 years ago | (#13334668)

Google should just close down their .au site until Australia respects freedom of speech. To an American, this law seems absurd.

Re:for freedom (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334734)

``To an American, this law seems absurd.''

To many Australians it's also absurd, but since it doesn't impact their daily lives they couldn't be bothered worrying about it.

As for an American finding Australian laws strange, have you seen some of your own laws lately?? ;-)

Re:for freedom (4, Insightful)

slavemowgli (585321) | about 9 years ago | (#13334856)

So? To me as a European, the fact that you have the DMCA in the USA seems absurd. The PATRIOT act seems absurd. The fact that you have a president who got through with manipulating the elections, lied to his own people and *got through with it* and now advocates creationism seems absurd - as does the fact that he's being celebrated, while another president who actually improved your economy alot got shafted for having sex with an intern.

So what's your point?

For that matter, isn't it absurd that you can't yell fire in a crowded theatre? Oh, that's not freedom of speech, you say? Why not? It's simply wrong to claim that speech isn't regulated in the USA at all - it is, just like everywhere else. Your regulations happen to differ from Australia's, but they're still there.

And finally, what's with the "we should do X to them until they give up and do Y just like we want them to"? How would you feel if an Australian advocated doing the same thing to you? Oh, sure, you might say that you wouldn't care because there's not really any Australian company you're dependent on, but that's evading the issue - think about it. Don't you think that a sovereign democratic nation deserves a bit more respect than that?

Re:for freedom (0, Troll)

Dunbal (464142) | about 9 years ago | (#13334936)

To me as a European... seems absurd.

      To me as a Canadian not bathing regularly, like - every day, seems absurd. But to each their own, eh?

Re:for freedom (0, Flamebait)

slackerny (824897) | about 9 years ago | (#13334944)

Fuck all that! I dont see any difference between Australia or China in containing the media.

make: *** No rule to make target `love'. Stop.

Re:for freedom (2, Insightful)

batkiwi (137781) | about 9 years ago | (#13334959)

So you're saying the Australian media disallows criticizing the sitting government? That's news to me.

Re:for freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13335078)

Google should just close down their .au site until Australia respects freedom of speech. To an American, this law seems absurd.

Yeah, legislators in America would never touch online gambling. [google.com]

hey wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334677)

Don't criminals love to gamble?

Re:hey wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334715)

Im Sorry but at least one story each day has some reference to Google or Search engines . it makes me wonder whether slashdot is owned by Google Corp .

Surely the Internet is "International enough to provide a weeks worth of stories without Google Corp being involved somewhere. "

australia (1)

h8mE (748976) | about 9 years ago | (#13334705)

wtf is with this country and their ALIEN laws? if you don't like it, cut the trunk to the net you dummies!

pretty slow buro anyway (2, Funny)

nietsch (112711) | about 9 years ago | (#13334770)

from TFA:
Since the Interactive Gambling Act came into effect, the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts has only received five complaints for potential breaches. The only complaint still under investigation is about an e-mail that contained "promotion and links to an interactive gambling service offering betting exchange products." The complaint was lodged in March 2003 and is still under investigation.


Methinks they are beating their drum a bit to show they are not the civilservant slackers they appear to be.

what the fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334836)

I guess that all the computers at SLASHDOT CENTRAL have gone down. That is what those dumbasses get for running windows...

Oh for christs sake.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334842)

AUSTRALIA SHUT THE FUCK UP.

RTFA! (5, Informative)

itachi18 (837104) | about 9 years ago | (#13334865)

Since I don't see that anybody actually has RTFA:
"Google Australia displays advertising links to online gambling sites when certain keywords are
misspelt."
(Bold added for emphasis.)

Re:RTFA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13334932)

Uhm, that's a valid spelling. It's not common in the American dialect, but is common in most English dialects, along with other "ed"->"t" words.

Re:RTFA! (1)

geniusj (140174) | about 9 years ago | (#13334942)

I don't think you understand what he was saying.. Go back and read it again. He wasn't complaining about their spelling.

Re:RTFA! (1)

itachi18 (837104) | about 9 years ago | (#13335058)

Bold added for emphasis. Not for spelling.

This is due to Australian protectionism (4, Informative)

Peter Cooper (660482) | about 9 years ago | (#13334955)

Australia has a VERY vibrant gambling scene. There are areas of the country where people pile most of their monthly salary into slot machines (which they call "pokies"). Australia has one of the highest concentration of poker machines in the world, and a high percentage of gambling addicts per capita.

Australia isn't interested in banning gambling as it brings in so much money. They just want to ban online gambling, as the money is likely to leave the country and not get taxed by the Australian government! This is protectionism, not some moral judgement on the part of the Australian government.

I wonder how long it'll be till Bush passes a law so that non-US companies can no longer advertise to US customers. It'll stop money leaving the US economy after all, and reduce the gaping trade deficit.

Your Rights Online... what? (1)

Kalear (908165) | about 9 years ago | (#13334960)

This news items has been grouped YRO because... erm... it's your right to have casino ads.. *cough*

Does this include online phone books? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13335071)

Well, does it?

Outrageous fines (1)

cbreaker (561297) | about 9 years ago | (#13335075)

This is another example on how monetary fines are a joke. It's not just Austrailia - it happens everywhere.

If you're Joe Shmoe in Austrailia and you have a banner ad for an online casino on your personal blog web site, you can get fined for almost $200,000 a day. That's a LOT more then most of the population earns per YEAR. Yet, if you're a corporation, it's $850,000 - which is a lot more but most corporations could afford to pay out at least a day's worth of fines (and if not, you bankrupt the company and go home) whereas the 200k would put any individual out on the street - no car, house, nothing.

Your Rights Online (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 9 years ago | (#13335094)

This is filed under YRO, but it seems like you don't have any rights online except those the government feels are good for you.

If the entire Internet was dumbed down to meet the restrictions of every government on the world together, there would be no content at all.

Re:Your Rights Online (0)

v3rgEz (125380) | about 9 years ago | (#13335249)

"...dumbed down to meet the restrictions of every government on the world together, there would be no content at all."

Somebody beat you to it, bub.

Gambling in Australia (4, Informative)

jebiester (589234) | about 9 years ago | (#13335196)

I live in Sydney, and every pub and club here has rows of poker machines. The influx of gambling services is quite a problem here, and is having a huge social cost. We probably have more gamling machines than anyone else in the world now. Not to mention two large casios in Sydney and Melbourne.

If the government really wanted to limit gambling it would target the gambling in clubs and casinos, however, I believe the real reason for the online gambling ban is more likely to be lobbying from the clubs and pubs (who make most of their money from pokie machines now).

Of course, all it means is that Australians put their credit card details into foreign internet gambling sites, and the government doesn's get any tax revenue from internet gambling at all.
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