Illegal Gambling on the Rise in Australia’s Online Casinos

September 2, 2020

No one quite gambles like the Australians! Aussie is truly the Mecca of gamblers with an incredible number of casinos. No other gambling landscape holds as many gambling machines as down under. The gambling laws here are also accommodation of the expansive industry: an element that draws the attention of foreign gambling operators.

The government mandated that the Australian Communications and Media Authority protect the local market from unauthorized online casinos. The law is stringent on online gambling, except for auto racing and sports betting, but nonetheless restricting live betting on sports events. Online lottery games are also allowed, but that is as far as legal online gambling in Aussie goes.

It is essential to familiarize with the legal forms of gambling in Australia to avoid breaking the law. After the disruption caused by Coronavirus that closed down most gaming outlets, illegal online gambling has rapidly escalated in recent months. Numerous risks arise from such backdoor online transactions, and the government is relentless in fighting off offshore online casino operators to protect the local market in the lockdown period.

The Emergence of Inconsistent Betting Markets

The Australian gambling market has been flooded with numerous gaming options, taking illegal gambling to higher levels. The cancellation of major sports tournaments around the world has left a gap in the Australian gambling market, which mostly relied on sports gambling.

Smaller, less significant gaming options were created by illegal casinos to satisfy the current need for gambling. Online gamblers can now wager on interest rate movements, dressing of prominent people, weather changes, and stocks market, among other volatile betting markets that are basically a trap to ransack desperate gamblers.

Aussie Online Gambling Stats

Despite the regulator’s effort to block sites, illegal betting platforms still target the Australian market and have managed to attract huge audiences. Online Pokies, for example, increased its searches from about 12,000 to 40,000, between February and April this year. Joker Room gathered an estimate of 600,000 new visitors in the same period.

Charles Livingstone, an expert on public health and gambling matters, of the Monash University, argued that getting rid of illegal gambling sites was almost impossible because new ones emerged every time they got rid of one. This situation prevails because Australian laws do not adequately restrict citizens from gambling online, but focus on preventing online sites from hosting online casinos in the country. The Australian government estimates an annual loss of $400 million, by Australians to illegal gambling.

The Risks of Using Illegal Online Casinos

With an increase in gamblers’ expenditure and demand for online wagering platforms, illegal sites have more control over the market and therefore raise their rewards to attract more customers. Expanding the prize pool subsequently increases people’s interest in betting hence an increased handle for the unlicensed operators. Online platforms that lacked a market share before the pandemic, now have more influence since they offer better terms and have enormous prizes for gamblers compared to authorized online casinos. Even worse, these sites have not invested much in user security, and therefore personal data is easily accessed by online fraudsters. Some platforms refuse to authorize withdrawals and shut down immediately they accumulate huge sums leaving Aussie players dejected.

Identifying Unauthorized Online Casino Operators

There are gaming operators with valid licenses to offer authorized online betting markets in Australia. These are obscured by the increasing traffic of illegal platforms that are running such sites out of business. Illegal offshore sites penetrate the local market by setting up their platforms to accommodate Aussie gamblers giving them the option to transact in AUD for deposits, wagering, and withdrawing.

Australian law does not restrict the locals to register with offshore platforms, and despite partnering with Australian Communications and Media Authority, players navigate local barriers using VPNs. All legal platforms clearly outline their authorizing body at the bottom of their site with a link to their authorizing gambling commission, a feature that illegal sites lack.

The Australian government is determined to shut down illegal websites. Fifty-two illegal sites are currently under the ban order from The Australian Communications and Media Authority. This prerogative is the organization’s most significant move since it was allowed to do so in November 2019.

Some of the sites under the close watch include Nordicasino, Reeltastic, Ace Pokies, Planet 7 Oz, Royal Spinza, Enzo Casino, Spintropolis, and Times Square Casino. Blocking these websites will allow the government to directly contact gamblers who visit the sites through an error alert message that pops up on every attempt to visit such sites.

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