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Action on interactive gambling: January to March 2018

Complaints received-Interactive gambling 47 enquiries and complaints received and assessed 
Investigations completed-Interactive gambling 15 investigations completed involving 37 distinct gambling sites
Breach-Interactive gambling 34 breaches of the IGA found
Formal warning-Interactive gambling 6 formal warnings issued

Enquiries and complaints

Of the 47 enquiries and complaints received, 26 (55 per cent) were valid complaints that could be investigated under the IGA.

Enquiries and complaints-Action on interactive gambling January to March 2018

You can make a complaint to the ACMA if you have reason to believe that a prohibited interactive gambling service or an unlicensed regulated interactive gambling service is being provided to Australian customers or advertised in Australia.

Investigations

We may investigate interactive gambling matters on our own initiative or where a valid complaint is made.

An investigation may look at a number of sites and may also include findings on a number of matters. For example, in a single investigation we might consider if a service is a prohibited interactive gambling service and also whether an advertisement for the services was published in Australia.

In this period, 15 investigations were completed, with 10 investigations finding one or more breaches of the IGA.

These 10 investigations resulted in 34 separate findings of breaches:

  • 22 related to providing a prohibited interactive gambling service to Australian customers
  • two related to providing an unlicensed regulated interactive gambling service to Australian customers
  • 10 related to advertising a prohibited or unlicensed regulated interactive gambling service in Australia.

In terms of the 15 investigations undertaken, a total of 37 distinct URLs were considered.

Investigation findings and topics

Investigation findings and topics-Action on interactive gambling January to March 2018

The ACMA does not publish the names of entities involved in investigations.

Enforcement action

We have a range of powers to deal effectively with breaches, including the power to:

  • issue formal warnings
  • issue infringement notices
  • apply to the Federal Court or Federal Circuit Court for civil penalty orders and/or injunctions
  • refer a matter to the Australian Federal Police for investigation, or to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, in connection with criminal offence provisions.

In addition, we can:

  • notify relevant international licensing authorities if an operator is in breach of Australian law
  • refer directors/principals of offending operators to border protection agencies for inclusion on the travel Movement Alert List
  • report URLs to family-friendly filter providers.

Enforcement action undertaken

Action  Number
Formal warnings issued  6
Notifications sent to international licensing authorities  8
URLs reported to family-friendly filter providers  5

Stakeholder engagement

We have been actively engaging with international regulators, national regulators, licensing authorities, service providers, sporting and racing bodies, and other federal government agencies to raise awareness of the IGA and to promote compliance.

Education and awareness-raising

Reforms to the provision of credit betting began on 17 February 2018. We provided information on the reforms to key stakeholders including wagering operators.

We undertook a social media campaign to raise consumer awareness of the reforms that directed consumers to detailed information on our website.

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