Legal & Regulatory News

Data released by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) shows that 33 prominent online gambling sites have withdrawn from the Australian market since last September.

The findings are contained in a report released Thursday on the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, which was amended last year to give the ACMA expanded powers to tackle offshore operators.

The authority said that the expanded powers at its disposable since September 13, 2017, have resulted in 33 illegal gambling providers withdrawing from the market.

“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.”

The new powers allow the ACMA to fine corporations that provide illegal gambling services to Australians almost AUD$8m (US$5.7m) a day.

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 the 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 added.

“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.”

The ACMA added that it expects to see a 50 per cent reduction in the flow of funds from Australia to offshore operators this year.