Thirty-three prominent offshore wagering sites withdrew from Australian markets over 12 months, according to a report on the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA) by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
Reforms to the IGA, which came into effect on 13 September 2017, expanded the ACMA’s powers to take action against prohibited and unlicensed offshore gambling sites.
‘Over the past year, we’ve moved decisively to disrupt the provision of illegal offshore gambling to Australians,’ said ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin.
The impact of the reforms indicate revenue to illegal offshore gambling websites is falling. Statistics from Global Betting and Gaming Consultants indicate that offshore gambling expenditure will fall by over 50 per cent between 2017 and 2018.
‘We’ve made it clear that Australia’s laws are unambiguous,’ said Ms O’Loughlin. ‘If you provide prohibited or unlicensed gambling services to customers in Australia, you are breaching Australian law and we will take enforcement action.’
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,’ said Ms O’Loughlin.
‘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,’ added Ms O’Loughlin.