More real money casinos, poker rooms to exit Australia.
A week from now, the number of gambling sites currently operating in Australia is going to plunge. The exodus of real money casinos and poker rooms began late last year, and now that internet gambling laws banning the activity are etched in stone, a new wave of operators have confirmed their intent to leave the Australian market behind.
The nation made it clear last year that the Internet Gambling Amendment Bill (IGA), forged to prohibit unlicensed operators from accessing Australia, would be passed. It may have taken them a bit longer than intended, but it did happen. It passed the House in March, the Senate on August 9, and received Royal Assent exactly one week later.
Vera&John heeded the inevitable warning, becoming the first to publicly announce its departure from Australia in December. Two other real money casinos and poker rooms followed in their footsteps soon after, including 888 in January, and 32Red in April.
In the meantime, Partypoker and PokerStars informed players they would also bow out, but not until the pending internet gambling laws were in the books. When Governor-General Peter Cosgrove gave the IGA Royal Assent, both made good on that promise.
Partypoker told its players it will no longer operate in Australia as of August 31; PokerStars September 11.
More Gambling Sites Heading for Exit
According to recent reports, a new throng of real money casinos and poker rooms are heading for the nearest exit signs. At least seven have been added to the growing list, with more sure to come over the next two weeks.
On Monday, a long-time member of the GPWA community confirmed reception of an email from iAffiliates, the affiliate marketing brand of the Mansion Group. The Mansion Group is the owner of four gambling sites, including Casino.com, Mansion Casino, Mansion Poker and Slots Heaven.
The forum post foretold Mansion Group’s and iAffiliates’s impending rejection of Australian customers after August 31, 2017. Henceforth, no new Australian members will be accepted, and existing member accounts will be closed, aside from granting access to withdrawal services as needed.
Similar information was received from the Global Genesis Group, which runs the Cruise Affiliates program for a trio of real money casinos. It’s operations include Casino Cruise, Spin It and Sloty.com.
A mass email was delivered to Cruise Affiliates partners explaining that the new internet gambling laws will restrict their ability to operate in Australia. Therefore, as of September 1, 2017, the group will no longer be open to Australian members, and the accounts of current residents will be closed. Members will, of course, continue to have access to withdrawal services for any existing balances.
Internet Gambling Laws Ban Real Money Casinos
The IGA fortifies measures previously laid forth in the Internet Gambling Act of 2001, in which gambling sites – outside of sports betting – were already deemed illegal. The new internet gambling laws clarify that operators may not access the Australian market without a license and that real money casinos and poker rooms are not legal in Australia, therefore may not obtain such a license.
This time around, government bodies have been appointed to enforce the laws. Hefty penalties are inscribed to punish any operators found in violation.
The IGA will officially become law on September 13, 2017.