Potential changes to gambling regulations in Australia have led to several online companies leaving the country in order to avoid any retribution for offering their services without licensing. 888 Holdings, William Hill and Vera&John are just a few companies that removed services from Australia after changes in gambling regulations began to be considered in the country. Now, it seems yet another big operator is moving out, as 32Red has announced their plans to withdraw services as of April 3rd.
Currently, lawmakers of Australia are working to reach an agreement that will prohibit offshore gambling operators from offering services if they do not have licensing in the country. 32Red, who was recently acquired by the Kindred Group this year, offers several interactive betting products in Australia including casino, poker, and a sportsbook online. Now, all of these services will no longer be on offer for players in the country. 32Red sent out an email to customers and affiliate partners alerting them of the news.
In the email, the operator informed members of the site that no new registrations will be allowed for anyone residing in Australia. Affiliate partners of the brand have been told to stop promoting all products offerings of 32Red to players located in Australia immediately. Affiliates are to remove any hyperlinks, banners, etc. from their websites. On the plus side, revenue shares can still be generated by affiliates by players who are based in Australia that used their referrals to sign up at various 32Red offerings, until further notice.
Last month, the government of Australia inched closer to closing the loopholes that have existed in current legislation involving online gambling. Currently, regulations allow gambling operators offshore who are licensed in other countries to take advantage of loopholes and offer their services to individuals located in Australia.
The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 was introduced last year and was able to pass a third reading on the 21st of March. The bill would remove any loopholes in legislation with offshore online operators prohibited from offering their services within Australian licensing. Lawmakers plan on blocking IP addresses, creating a blacklist of those who are unlicensed as well as impose civil penalties. The bill has the potential to become law in just a few months if it continues to progress as it has.
It is believed that the next company to go will be PokerStars, if the amendment is approved. PokerStars members were sent an email that stated if the bill were to go into effect, player accounts would be suspended and the brand would no longer be accepting registrations from individuals located in Australia.