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Gambling crackdown forces offshore gambling site closures Image courtesy of Vlado at FreeDigitalPhotos.net Featured

A crackdown on prohibited and unlicensed offshore gambling sites by the Australian Communications and Media Authority has forced 33 prominent offshore wagering sites to withdraw from Australian markets over 12 months, according to a newly released report.

Reforms to the Interactive Gambling Act, which came into effect on 13 September 2017, expanded the ACMA’s powers to take action against prohibited and unlicensed offshore gambling sites.

The impact of the reforms indicate revenue to illegal offshore gambling websites is falling, with statistics from Global Betting and Gaming Consultants indicating that offshore gambling expenditure will fall by over 50% between 2017 and 2018.

“Over the past year, we’ve moved decisively to disrupt the provision of illegal offshore gambling to Australians,” said ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin.

“We’ve made it clear that Australia’s laws are unambiguous.

“If you provide prohibited or unlicensed gambling services to customers in Australia, you are breaching Australian law and we will take enforcement action,” O’Loughlin warned.

Maximum penalties of nearly $8 million per day can apply to corporations.

The report also outlines the targeted education, engagement and enforcement action taken by the ACMA to raise awareness of Australia’s laws and drive compliance following regulatory reforms.

“We’ve received valuable support from overseas gambling regulators and third parties such as software providers and payment processors to change behaviour in the offshore gambling market,” O’Loughlin said.

“We expect the combination of clearer laws, an active regulator and stronger enforcement measures to continue to disrupt the provision of illegal interactive gambling services to Australians.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

 

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