Sunday 1. May, 2016

Australia Set to Crack Down on Online Poker

Online poker may be in the crosshairs from the Australian Federal Government with online poker sites that operate in the the country expecting some tough reforms. The federal government’s report into online gambling, following the comprehensive review produced by former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell, has been released and the news is not good for offshore gambling operators.

While a major focus of the report was closing the loophole that exists that allows offshore online bookmakers to offer live in-play betting, there are other focuses that will have an impact on the online gambling market throughout the country.

The report makes numerous mentions of problem gambling as the reason for cracking down on online gambling and it singles out a number of jurisdictions in Europe such as Gibraltar, Malta and Isle of Man.

“It should be noted that whilst these jurisdictions place great importance on having very high licensing and regulatory standards to ensure that gambling offers are fair and transparent, that controllers and beneficiaries are of good character and that customer funds and rights are properly protected, they also have a high prevalence of problem gambling,” the report read.

The report is calling on the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to compel ISPs to “block identified sites fostering illegal wagering activity within Australia.” This move may see offshore poker rooms, with full licensing and regulation from other jurisdictions, being blocked to players in Australia.

A number of critics have come out against the report and the anti-gambling lobby claiming that Australia, with some areas in the country that have more poker machines per capita than anywhere else in the world outside of Nevada, is just trying to protect its local gambling business by banning offshore operators.


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