Critics Condemn Habits Of ACMA
The federal government handed the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) powers, in 2017, to target offshore operators. Since then, they have imposed fines of up to €777,735 on individuals and $3,886,575 on companies violating its set laws.
Although the ACMA has been striving to reduce the provision of unlawful offshore gambling to Australians, critics don’t agree with their methods, claiming that they are inoperable.
So far, the ACMA has imposed many bans including in-play betting among other measures to deter unlicensed operators. The violation of the latter, as noted, is a violation and a breach of Australian law, which leads to an enforcement action.
Critics claim this move has chased out operators who are licensed in the respective countries (for instance the US), leaving the nation vulnerable. As a result, many gamblers are forced to deal with companies that are not licensed or registered anywhere. Hence the critics’ notion that the imposition of fines on unlicensed and unregistered companies, and the ACMA’s threat to such companies, are not practical.
The techniques that ACMA use like pressuring operators, communicating with regulators in the respective countries and contacting the companies via their websites to issue them warnings are not applicable to the unlicensed and unregistered companies due to their lack of accountability. While the rules hinder legitimate companies, they leave Australian gamblers exposed to scam sites.
Following the provision of the new laws and the exit of the mentioned companies, a recent survey indicated that poker players in the country still play, despite the changes. This just shows how unlicensed businesses are thriving.
The likes of avid poker players such as Joseph Del Duca of the Australian Online Poker Alliance are protesting for changes in the ACMA regulations.