New online gambling legislation has surfaced in Australia that may see many online gambling providers removing their services from the country. Vera & John is a well-known provider of online gambling options in the country and they have become the first major player to shut down in Australia as offshore casinos are to be prohibited from offering their services to bettors in Australia.
Existing customers of Vera & John in Australia received an email that said the casino would no longer be in operation but had very little details explaining the decision. Basically, Vera & John said it was a business decision and one they regret to make. Existing players of the site will not be able to make deposits any longer and all current accounts will be closed in one week’s time. Any funds that remain in the accounts after the deadline will be transferred to the player.
While Vera & John have not officially stated why they are moving out of the country, it seems that they are getting a head start before the new gambling laws are put into effect. The Federal government is currently accepting reviews of the gaming provisions of the country and this could significantly change the way online gambling takes place in the country. Operators that do not have a local license will not be able to legally offer their services in Australia. Doing so will result in a penalty that can be as high as $1 million.
It seems most online gaming operators who feel they would be affected by the changes in gaming law will remove themselves as to avoid any penalty. PokerStars already announced they are planning to leave the market in the future.