Australia’s Illegal Poker Sites Are Growing, Despite Policies
The Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) recently came out with a report that claimed that its efforts to stop online gambling in the country had paid off.
However the facts and figures claimed in the report have been disputed by the Australian Online Poker Alliance (AOPA). The organization said attempts by the government to curb illicit online poker operators have failed.
Joseph Del Duca, the head of the alliance, is questioning a recent report released by the ACMA which showed that 33 prominent internationally-licensed sports betting sites had terminated their operations in the country since amended gambling laws took effect in September, 2017.
Del Duca claims the figures are misleading as online poker was placed under the interactive gaming category in order to embellish the numbers. Del Duca said new regulations have done little to address the real issue with online poker players turning to other unregulated sites to feed their habits.
Del Duca said online poker and other illegal gambling sites are continuously putting Australians at risk as perpetrators could use these sites as a channel for potential terrorism funding and money laundering. He said the current approach adopted by the government will not work and will only lead to new unregulated sites springing up.
Illegal Poker Sites Are Increasing
AOPA conducted a survey of thousands of online poker players and the reports showed that many of them are still playing. According to Del Duca the number of unregulated poker sites has actually increased compared with previous figures, and many of them are worse than the ones that were suppressed by the ACMA. These unlicensed online poker sites enable players to use fake currency in playing and then real money is then sent to players through the black market.
Calls for Legal Online Poker
Del Duca said ACMA’s assertion that clearer laws coupled with strong enforcement measures and an active regulator will continue to bring the numbers down is erroneous. The AOPA founder said it’s about time the online poker industry is legalized in Australia. Industry leaders have been pushing for safe and legal online poker as it would help to curb illegal online poker sites from operating. Legalization will provide consumer protection and at the same time generate significant online gaming taxes for the government. Above all, it will enable Aussies to play and spend their money without fear of legal repercussions.