Australia Puts Foot Down With Illegal Operators

Tia Winter | 05 November 2018

It appears as if the number truly is up for illegal casino operators hoping to do business with players residing in Australia. Following the passing of strict limitations as well as maximum potential penalties on wrong-doers, reaching up to $8 million in fines a day, the country has seen no fewer than 33 foreign operators withdraw from its market over the course of the last year.

A recently-compiled report that was put together by the country’s Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) projects that revenue generated by foreign operators will fall by more than 50% for 2018, when compared to 2017. This is thanks to the impact and reach of the amendments made to the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001.

The amendments to the Act were signed into power during September of 2017, and seem to have provided bite to a dog that was previously only equipped to bark.

Tightening The Noose

Of the 138 foreign owned-sites initially investigated by the ACMA, 58% were not providing services to Australian players and bettors. After the amendments to the Act had been signed into force, a further study was conducted. This time around, the figure had risen to a very impressive 83%. According to ACMA chairperson Nerida O’Loughlin, it’s the unforgiving nature of the new law that had successfully deterred unlicensed entities from advertising their services to Australians.

Clarity Has Brought About Change

O’Loughlin said that the message that was sent was loud and clear. If operators were to continue to break Australian laws, there would be dire consequences as a result of their non-compliance.

The Act also prohibits advertisements by illegal and unlicensed operators. The ACMA has extended the grip of its reach by establishing a specialised task force, known as the Interactive Gambling Taskforce. The taskforce liaises with payment processors, international regulators, and also software providers in order to curb the provision of illegal gambling services to Australian citizens.

The ACMA’s report outlines definite results that indicate that the local gaming market has evolved from having previously been regarded as a grey area, to a market driven by the strong arm of the law – clear, active and strong.

This new perception and law-abiding culture, more than anything, according to the ACMA, is what has changed the demeanour and conduct of many offshore casinos.

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