NSW club eyes share of Net gambling market

Sydney, Dec 23 (Asia Pulse) - The NSW club movement has set up a taskforce toconsider grabbing a share of the Internet gaming market. ClubsNSW chairman Pat Rogan said the organisation had realised it could notignore the impact of the Internet any longer.

Sydney, Dec 23 (Asia Pulse) - The NSW club movement has set up a taskforce to consider grabbing a share of the Internet gaming market.

ClubsNSW chairman Pat Rogan said the organisation had realised it could not ignore the impact of the Internet any longer. "We've taken a good look at ourselves and recognised that, as a community based movement that is now 80 years old, we had to formulate a vision for the next 100 years," Mr Rogan said. Mr Rogan said he was concerned Internet gaming could eat into club revenue because it had no state or international boundaries.

While he was mindful of recent comments by Prime Minister John Howard, who has indicated he was not in favour of Internet gaming, Mr Rogan said prohibition would be almost impossible to achieve. "The club movement, as a community based association, has the potential to be an ideal provider of such a service.. a locally based keeper of the gate if you like," he said.

The taskforce has been instructed to look at the entire spectrum of Internet activities, including improvements to communications between the association and member clubs as well as the delivery of new forms of entertainment. "Until now, the club movement has adopted a wait and see attitude to the Internet, but with the technology and now the debate developing so quickly it is vital for our membership, and their communities that we have a clearly defined policy," he said.

The task force would be convened early in the new year.