Australia Sees Offshore Gambling Cut in Half
Thirty-three offshore betting sites have withdrawn from the gaming market since new gambling penalties were implemented.
A report by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found the influence of the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) in 2001 is effective. This indicates that revenue connected to illegal offshore gaming will decrease by over fifty percent. The decrease is from approximately $450 million in 2017 to around $200 million in 2018.
The gaming reforms were enforced in September 2017. These rules expanded the power the ACMA had to take against illegal offshore gambling websites. The organization has the authority to take serious action against organizations that choose to ignore the new regulations. Maximum penalties that amount to almost $8 million per day on offenders have been reported.
The ACMA’s Investigation
The ACMA conducted an investigation to find out which websites were conducting illegal gambling. The investigation included 138 websites. Fifty-eight percent of these sites weren’t providing gaming services to Australia. However, this amount increased to eighty-three percent after ACMA compliance action. Nerida O’Loughlin, the ACMA chair, stated the success of the ACMA’s efforts was due to the “unambiguous” nature of Australian gaming laws. O’Loughlin asserts, “Over the past year, we’ve moved decisively to disrupt the provision of illegal offshore gambling to Australians.” The ACMA chair also says the organization has clearly communicated to Australians that the gambling laws in the country are “unambiguous.” McLoughlin also warns those who are organizing illegal gambling operations will be reprimanded.
More about the IGA
The IGA prohibits provision of illegal interactive gaming services to customers. The act also bans any advertisements for gambling services that are not legal in Australia.
In response to changes in gambling laws, the ACMA established the Interactive Gambling Taskforce. The taskforce works to provide education to gamers and venues that permit gambling, and enforces ACMA regulations. It is believed that the taskforce will help to reduce unlicensed offshore gambling operators from having access to Australian gamers. The group has also joined with international regulators, payment processors, and software providers.
It is estimated that since gaming rules have been enforced, compliance has been at about sixty-eight percent. This is the percentage of offshore gambling providers and third parties that were violating the IGA.
A report from the ACMA stated, “This trend in gambling activity – the withdrawal of prominent services and the rate of compliance – reflects a noticeable change in the attitudes of offshore perception of Australia’s online gambling market. What once might have been a grey or ambiguous market is now a market with clear laws, an active regulator and strong enforcement – which has changed the behavior of many offshore operators.”
Problem Gambling in Australia
Gambling is a common and popular pastime in Australia. However, the practice can be problematic for some. This is part of the reason that organizations in the country are working to place stricter rules on gambling practices.
Gambling has even been considered a public health issue in Australia. It is estimated that between 80,000 and 160,000 adults in Australia have a gambling problem. Reports also indicate that 250,000 to 350,000 Australian adults are at moderate risk for becoming compulsive gamblers.
There are a number of symptoms that can indicate problem gambling. Gamers who wage much more than they can afford to pay could potentially have a gambling issue. Those who feel continuous anxiety and depression after gambling could also be dealing with problem gambling. Australia has a number of resources that can assist people with gambling issues, including Lifeline Australia and the Department of Social Services.
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Grayson met Thomas Winston at university and has stayed in touch ever since. Now living and working in America as a logistics specialist, Grayson has long shared Thomas’ love of real money online casino games but prefers roulette and craps to blackjack. She signed on readily as a contributor when Thomas told her he was planning to launch the Top Casino Picks site to share her experience, tips and tricks, when it comes to real money online casinos.
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