Australia introduces bill affecting offshore operators

Australia has introduced a new bill that tightens restrictions on offshore operators that operate online gambling services in Australia, local media reports.

The bill, named the Interactive Gambling Amendment bill 2016, will put a stop to “click-to-call” live betting services, which had been operating through a loophole under existing laws, as well as cracking down on internationally licensed operators in Australia.

“Currently hundreds of illegal gambling services are easily accessible on the internet and we know that people are more likely to get into trouble online – 2.7 percent of interactive gamblers are problem gamblers compared to 0.9 percent of all gamblers,” said human services minister, Alan Tudge.

“We expect online wagering providers to meet community expectations. The tougher laws will seriously disrupt illegal offshore providers from acting unscrupulously or targeting vulnerable Australians.”

“The government is committed to taking tougher action against illegal offshore wagering providers and this bill does exactly that,” he continued.

The bill will also give Australia’s media watchdog, Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) power to issue warnings, infringement notices, civil penalties and injunctions.

It is yet to be seen whether Labor or crossbench senators will support the bill to allow it to pass through senate.