New Gambling Regulations Spur Aussie Operator Exit
Australian lawmakers are worried that their country’s obsession with gambling is having a negative impact on children and problem gamblers alike. After years of enduring airwaves choked with ads for sportsbooks and casinos, they’ve cracked down hard on everything from when operators can advertise to war on unlicensed operators.
This recent regulatory uptick is having a big impact on the various operators who once served the voracious Aussie gaming market. What was once a land rush has now turned into an exodus as gambling operators see Australia as a compliance concern that simply isn’t worth the hassle anymore.
That’s why, earlier this month, Sportsbetting.ag, TigerGaming.com, and BetOnline all recently told their Aussie players that they’re no longer serving the Down Under market. According to a report on CalvinAyre.com, all three operators basically gave their players the same message, the new regulations make operating in Australia a burden they simply can’t bear.
The new regulatory scheme, which has come down to the market in a piecemeal manner, does include a number of regulations that make operating in Australia a genuine challenge. For example, operators are severely regulated as to when they can advertise and advertising is not allowed at all during live sporting events (which pretty much kills the live betting market). Aussie regulators are also policing the market more aggressively and letting operators who are not in compliance know that someone is watching them.
To make matters worse, Australia’s gaming laws include a mechanism that allows executives from non-compliant operators to be placed on international watch lists so that they can be arrested and, theoretically, returned Down Under to face justice. That’s enough to get the attention of most operators.
All three operators mentioned in this story have told their players they have until April 30 to collect the remaining balances in their accounts.