Northern Territory backs in-play betting

Northern Territory gaming minister Peter Styles has backed the in-play betting method being pushed by bookmakers in Australia, saying failure to legalize the option will mean even more money will go to offshore operators.

Federal Assistant Minister for Social Services, Alan Tudge is expected to release his recommendations into the fast-growing online gaming sector in February following former NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell’s federal review on gambling.

Styles said it was imperative the government amended laws to reflect changing technology and betting habits, according to Fairfax Media. “If we don’t keep up with the times and technology, people will simply go overseas. And you lose the ability to tax them, you lose the ability of that tax money for amelioration and harm minimisation programmes.”

In December, Australia’s leading sporting organizations in their submission to the federal review, warned that a ban against licensed bookmakers from offering in-play betting has allowed illegal offshore bookmakers to flourish, threatening the integrity of their competitions.

The review, led by former New South Wales premier Barry O’Farrell, was handed to the government in December and will be released alongside a response in the coming days or weeks.