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32Red pulls out of Australia after IGAB passage

Tue, Apr 4, 8:47am by Staff Writer

Gibraltar-based online casino company 32Red will withdraw from the Australian market effective immediately after the passage of the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill through the Senate last month.

The new law provides clarity around the operational legality of online casinos and online poker in Australia, imposing civil penalties for operators who are not specifically licensed within Australia.

While the new law is not expected to be implemented until at least June, 32Red have become the first significant provider to indicate they will leave the Australian market since the Bill was passed.

They have told affiliates not to offer new sign ups from April 3, and will withdraw completely from Australia over the coming months.

32Red offered online casino, sportsbook and online poker and joins 888 and Vera and John in deciding to pull, back from offering its services to Australian users.

Under the previous legislation, an ambiguity in the law saw overseas operators able to offer their services to Australian customers through the loophole that they were licensed in their own jurisdiction.

The new law empowers ACMA to levy civil penalties, which can anything from warning up to the placement of company directors of movement alert lists.

However, the new law doesn’t make it illegal for Australians to bet with this providers, just for these providers to offer their services to Australian.

PokerStars has indicated it would also withdraw from Australia but won’t do so until the law comes into effect.

With final assent of the IGAB unlikely to occur for another month, then that will mean that it wouldn’t come into effect until around June.

The precise future of online poker in Australia is murky, with the new laws essentially preventing players from accessing providers. Senator David Leyonhjelm, who represents the Liberal Democrats, has promised to campaign for online poker to be legalised and sought support from the poker community in a recent Facebook post.

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