ACMA, short for the Australian Communications & Media Authority, and the officials from Curaçao have stated that they are joining hands. The aim is to tackle the prevailing concerns around online gambling. Most of the operators pose with a license issued by the Curaçao authorities and enter the Australian market. However, they are a little concerned about the way they operate in the region.
The development came to light after notes from the Freedom of Information request surfaced among the media community. Both parties are scheduled to have a talk about the matter, with over 90 operators on the list. The complaint by the Australian authorities was officially lodged in May 2023, with a follow-up discussion on June 08, 2023.
Curaçao authorities and the Australian government are looking to take severe actions against operators that are based in the Caribbean nation.
This marks a significant development from the side of Curaçao authorities as they have expressed their inclination to work in collaboration with their Australian counterparts. Also, the development comes as the region prepares to implement its online gambling licensing framework. The tentative date for the same is September 01, 2023, with plans to establish CGA – the Curaçao Gaming Authority – as the primary body to regulate the operations.
Implementing the framework will have consequences on the way existing operators function in the region and on foreign soils. Reportedly, they will have a window of 3 months to apply for the updated version of the license. Operators are seeking to revise the entire functioning mechanism of the online gambling industry.
Authorities are on the lookout for potential violations not just on domestic soil but also in other countries. Representatives have underscored the commitment to taking up the matter at the earliest. Australia, or any other region for that matter, has been included on the list. Meaning Curaçao will review the foreign operations of all the online gambling sites to make sure that there is no leak in the way products and services are offered via their representation.
Reports are claiming that this is a pivotal step as it will boost accountability and transparency over online gambling practices.
As for the ACMA, the Authority has directed its Internet Service Providers to block as many as 5 websites belonging to offshore operators who are not licensed. The total number as of now, since 2019, stands at 803 websites. Approximately 200 websites have voluntarily withdrawn their services from the region.
Actions like these signal the need to protect customers and uphold the integrity of the industry in Australia.
The most recent operators to have been blocked by the Australian ISPs are Reef Reels and Royal Reels. Both were touting licenses from Curaçao but were based in Costa Rica. Ricky Casino has a license from Curaçao and remains accessible to Australians.
Curaçao and the ACMA are likely to have another round of discussion before they take severe action against online gambling operators.