ACMA asks Curaçao to take action against online casinos targeting Australian players

Curaçao’s gambling authority confirmed that it would take into account alleged contraventions.
Curaçao’s gambling authority confirmed that it would take into account alleged contraventions.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has complained about 90 websites.

Australia.- The Australian Communication & Media Authority (ACMA) has appealed to the Curaçao government for assistance in tackling offshore gambling operators targeting the Australian market. The regulator has written to and met with government officials from Curaçao with complaints about 90 online casinos licensed in the Dutch Caribbean territory.

The regulator said some operators deliberately use iconic animals or Australian slang in their business names or promotional materials to attract local customers.

In late May, ACMA wrote to Curaçao’s Finance Minister, Javier Silvania. The letter addressed Curaçao “master” licence holders found to breach Australian laws by providing or advertising prohibited interactive gambling services to Australian customers. It outlined a list of sites that have engaged in the promotion or provision of igaming products in Australia, many of whom have evaded fines. 

The ACMA acknowledged the challenges it faced in enforcing penalties due to the global nature of online gambling and expressed a desire to establish regulatory collaboration with overseas gambling regulators, including the Curaçao Gaming Authority (CGA).

A meeting between ACMA and some Curaçao officials took place at the beginning of June to address the complaints made in the May letter.

Under new rules in Curaçao, the existing holders of sub-licences will be required to apply for a regular operating permit in order to be allowed to continue to provide their services. The meeting notes state that the representatives of Curaçao’s gambling authority confirmed that they would take into account the alleged contraventions in jurisdictions including Australia.

The officials of the Curaçao Government told the ACMA representatives that the list of the contravening digital gambling companies will be forwarded to the relevant master licence holder. However, no significant operational impact on online gambling companies’ businesses is expected in the short or medium term.

See also: ACMA blocks 5 offshore gambling websites

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