Australia Goes After Unlicensed iGaming ProvidersPublished May 1, 2016 by Lee R
The opportunities remain, as long as boundaries are respected.
The decision comes on the heels of Social Services Minister Alan Tudge's release of the results of his ministry's commissioned review of illegal offshore gambling sites headed by former New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell.
Australia's current and slightly outdated regulatory landscape is defined by the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act (IGA). While the IGA allows for bets on live games to be taken at retail outlets or over the phone, operators cannot offer such services online.
To Each Its Own
The adaptations in legislation indicate how a sovereign nation with a strong economy which regulates online gambling has chosen to distinguish between legal and illegal or permissible online gambling activity. Some of the changes are predictable, while the objection to in-play betting is notable.
The fact that online in-play betting will remain illegal indicates that market participants are going to have to work with whatever is available Down Under. The progressive and expansive offering of the placement of online bets while games are in action will be specifically eradicated through the closing of loopholes in Australian legislation that have allowed for this to take place until now.
As for any operators getting in on the action from afar, the Sydney Herald reports that the Australian government is keen to introduce what they call “disruption” tactics to prevent Australian citizens from gambling any further with illegal offshore operators.
While the government stopped short of saying that unlicensed sites will be blocked outright, confirmed measures do include the Australian version of a blacklist naming and shaming violating sites and their operators. An additional confirmed measure is federal coordination of prevention efforts with with banks and credit card companies.
Operators need not be alarmed by this shift, as every nation is bound to have its own preferences and interests regarding what they are comfortable permitting. Better to just learn how to adapt in one of the world's most unique and attractive regulation markets, a market where iGaming operators can be thankful a regulation model is already in place.