Published On: Wed, Feb 21st, 2018

Australia Warns International Operators About Breaching New Online Gambling Laws

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In a recent report published by a local media house, an Australian watchdog managed to unveil a total of 19 cases of breach of the country’s new online gambling laws solely within its first ever investigative efforts following the enforcement of the new rules. In its report that was published last week, the ACMA or the Australian Communications and Media Authority revealed about the operators who were suspected to have violated the stipulates of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 that was amended with revisions for banning the practice of credit betting, non-betting products such as poker and online casino and in play sports betting.


Covering a three-month span from September 2017, the report by the ACMA included details of the 108 complaints and inquiries the regulator had received with respect to the suspected breach of the newly amended Interactive Gambling Act. Following the investigation, the ACMA was able to catch hold of 38 complaints that were duly valid. As a result of which, the ACMA went on to introduce a total of 18 separate investigations.


Out of the 18 investigations, 10 revealed a total number of 19 instances wherein the newly amended act had been violated. While 9 out the 19 violations were found to be related to the illegal provision of a prohibited interactive gambling service, the other eight included provision of unlicensed interactive gambling service. Another two violations occurred with respect to the marketing of an unlicensed or prohibited regulated interactive gambling service.


Although the Australian Communication and Media Authority has not revealed any specific names of the charged gambling operators, it stated that they carried out the investigations of 65 different URLs on the Internet. According to the ACMA, the authority has been able to take suitable corrective action against these violators which resulted in a majority of these illegal services being currently unavailable to the Australian audience. The ACMA has the authority to engage with foreign gambling operators as well if their license holders are found to be in violation of the local Australian law.


The investigations further revealed that a good number of these affected enterprises had been providing online poker products in the Australian market. Although there have been sincere efforts on the part of certain legislators seeking the inclusion of online poker on the list of the legal online activities in the country, there has not been much progress in the matter.

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