Offshore online casinos catering to Aussie gamers might be forced to take a step back from the Australian market next year due to new gambling law amendments. With the implementation of new Interactive Gambling amendments, a bill passed in November of 2016, Aussie gamblers might be forced to use local providers.
Vera & John, one of the leading offshore gambling sites, announced to their Australian users on Friday via email that all accounts will be closed before the New Year. The company has made their intentions clear to customers, but no announcements have been made on their site or to the press as yet. Existing Aussie users are no longer allowed to make deposits into their accounts, and have been advised to withdraw any funds before December 30th.
Gambling Law Amendments Impact
While Vera & John are the first to exit the Australian market, there are many others poised to exit as soon as the legal dates of the legislation are enforced. PokerStars, another leading site, has announced their plan to do the same as soon as the interactive gambling amendments are officially enacted. Other operators have not announced anything to date, but they will also most likely be on the same footing as PokerStars and Vera & John. Any operators not holding a local gambling license will be subject to fines up to $1 million dollars, should they choose to remain.
Gambling Law Amendments Drawbacks
One drawback of the gambling law amendments at the moment is the lack of monitoring and foresight for black market gambling sites. It’s possible that the Federal Government might implement an online blacklist, but not until the amendment bill has been finalized. With the loss of so many legitimate sites, Aussie gamblers may be at risk from black market sites like Nick Xenophon, with little to no recourse.
Gambling Law Amendments Overview
All in all, the new gambling amendments serve to leave Australian gamblers with few options regarding online gambling. However, nothing is finalized as of 28 December, so it’s possible that further revisions will aid Aussie gamblers.