ACMA starts civil proceedings against alleged online poker provider

This action follows an ACMA investigation.
This action follows an ACMA investigation.

The ACMA has taken Rhys Edward Jones, Diverse Link Pty Ltd and Brenton Lee Buttigieg to Federal Court for allegedly providing illegal online gambling services.

Australia.- The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has commenced civil penalty proceedings in Federal Court for alleged contravention of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA).

It’s taking action against Rhys Edward Jones, who allegedly provided online poker services to Australians from March 2020 to March 2021; Diverse Link Pty Ltd, which allegedly provided services from March 2021 to the present; and Brenton Lee Buttigieg, who is accused of promoting the business and referring customers.

Their operations ran under the name PPPfish but subsequently rebranded to Shuffle Gaming and later Redraw Poker. Online poker services are prohibited by Section 5 of the IGA. For violations of the act, individuals can pay up to AU$1.66m in fines per violation, five times more than companies.

The ACMA says players were able to join a poker club through a mobile app and could buy chips via bank transfer or bitcoin. These were then credited to their poker club account and could be used to play. Chips could then be exchanged for FIAT currency or bitcoin.

In February, the regulator ordered the blocking of 12 offshore gambling websites. In November 2021, the ACMA ordered the blocking of two illegal offshore lottery websites for the first time.

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acma The Australian Communications and Media Authority