Update from The ACMA
Today, the ACMA released a report entitled “Disrupting illegal offshore gambling”. This report is a summary of the activities conducted by the ACMA under Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) since the IGA was amended in September 2017. The report indicates that the approach taken by the ACMA (and particularly its Interactive Gambling Taskforce) has been effective in restricting substantially the supply by offshore gambling providers of online gambling services to Australians.
Highlighted in the report are:
- 33 of the most popular offshore wagering sites have withdrawn from Australia
- 33 of the most popular gaming sites have withdrawn from Australia
- 33 online gambling software providers (including the top 10 software suppliers) have been contacted – many of these software providers are taking steps to ensure that their games are not accessible by Australians
- contact has been made with 10 payment services companies, some of whom have stopped processing Australian gambling related payments for offshore websites
- service providers have been utilised by the ACMA to cause their customers to cease providing online gambling services to Australians
- contact has been made with regulators internationally, some have assisted the ACMA by placing pressure on their licensees to cease providing services to Australians.The report comments that “the deterrent effect of such action by a fellow regulator cannot be understated”
In respect to the future, the ACMA has indicated that they will:
- escalate enforcement of activities against parties not complying with the IGA, which includes utilising the enforcement mechanism available under the IGA
- disrupting the promotional activities of illegal offshore gambling operators, for example, by taking steps against third parties, such as affiliates, which market those services;
- continue to engage with overseas regulators to deter their licensees from providing online gambling services to Australians.
When taking into account these resources with the other steps being considered currently by the Australian authorities, including the proposal for a scheme to be implemented by ISPs to block illegal offshore wagering websites, it is to be expected that further enforcement mechanisms will be taken by the Australian authorities, including the ACMA, in the foreseeable future.
For further information, please do not hesitate to contact any member of our Media & Gaming Team.
We will report further on this report and other disruptive measure being considered by the Australian Authorities in the next edition of our Gambling Law & Regulation Newsletter.
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