The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has gone forward with civil penalty proceedings against two locals who were offering poker services contrary to the country’s Interactive Gambling Act.
The Services Were Prohibited under the Law’s Section 5
ACMA shared information on the development by saying that the two subjects in the case are Brenton Lee Buttigieg and Rhys Edward Jones. Buttigieg promoted the illegal gambling services while Jones provided the services between March 2020 and March 2021.
In its statement, ACA claims that the two individuals allowed Australians to play online poker for real money. At the moment, online poker is deemed illegal by IGA. Those that participate in these activities can receive a fine of up to AU$1.67 million ($1.2 million). Providers of these services, on the other hand, risk a fine five times bigger.
While providing further details on the services provided by Buttigieg and Jones, ACMA stated that players used mobile apps to join the poker clubs, purchased chips from various websites, Bitcoin, or via bank transfers, and then used the funds to gamble on poker online for real money. Winnings were redeemed for Bitcoin or money.
ACMA Is Vocal about Illegal Gambling Services
ACMA is very active and vocal when it comes to stopping illegal gambling activities on Australian soil. At the end of March, it blocked 6 illegal online gambling websites. The casino sites in question were AU Online Casino, Pokies Online Casino, Pokies Parlour, CasinoAus, Australian Casino Sites, and Ninja Spins.
While speaking on the matter, ACMA noted that website blocking is one of the enforcement options that the regulator uses to “protect Australians against illegal online gambling.” It also added that since the first time the regulator started blocking websites, more than 400 illegal gambling platforms have been blocked.
It reminded Australians that even though these sites may seem secure, it is highly unlikely that they have the necessary customer protection systems. That means that Australians who gamble at these sites are at risk of losing their money.
The need to regulate the gambling industry in Australia is ever-increasing, especially after a survey found out that parent problem gambling affects children in the country. Statistics show that Australia is among the countries with the highest number of problem gamblers, meaning that the youth is exposed to this problem.
According to the survey, 4% of the children in Australia have parents that qualify as moderate-risk gamblers. That means that as many as 500,000 children may be exposed to a certain risk of gambling through their parents.
Aino Suomo, the author of the survey, states that the extent of gambling harm that children are facing through their parents is beginning to be accurately established.