First ever Australian Interactive Gaming Act fine issued

Jake Graves 2 months ago
First ever Australian Interactive Gaming Act fine issued

An Australian court has issued a A$5 million ($3.4 million) civil fine to a company in Queensland for offering online poker to customers within Australia, marking a landmark case in the Oceanic nation’s regulation.

The company in question, Diverse Link, was found guilty by the Federal Court in Brisbane which ruled in favour of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for a breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

First of its kind

First ever Australian Interactive Gaming Act fine issued.
Capital of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

The case marks a first in Australia as the court ruled to fine the Redraw poker operator to such an extent that there would be “virtually no likelihood of recovery” of the penalty from the company or its owners.

The AMCA acknowledge the historic nature of this ruling in a subsequent statement:

“The judgment marks the first time the Federal Court has ordered a civil penalty in relation to contraventions of the Interactive Gambling Act (2001).”

The fine was set at a sizeable A$5 million, which was deemed a sufficient deterrent due to the ground-breaking nature of the case.

Interestingly the court made certain to note that the maximum fine for this sort of contravention could have reached approximately A$3.3 billion.

Diverse Link’s operations

The court ruled that Diverse Link carried out this contravention over the course of approximately a year stating:

“The contravention was clearly deliberate. Diverse Link has not co-operated with the ACMA or demonstrated any remorse for its conduct.”

The operation was described as sophisticated and well-organised, particularly due to its use of Bitcoin in remittances.

Use of Bitcoin

Based on ACMA submissions from independent experts, it was estimated that Diverse Link received around A$4.2 million in deposits during the contravening 12 months, however, a lack of Bitcoin data strongly suggests that the amount was much larger.

Any recovery of this money was deemed to be unlikely given that Diverse Link began the deregistration process when the ACMA launched legal action.

Deterrence was strongly considered in the issuance of the fine with the presiding judge adding A$800, 000 to the A$4.2 million in illicit deposits in order to determine the fine.

AIBC Balkans/CIS

As a globally recognised nexus for networking, SiGMA Group sets its sights next to the Balkans this September, when the SIGMA Balkans/CIS Summit heads to Limassol Cyprus.

A host of networking opportunities and industry-leading knowledge will be emanating from the much-anticipated event which will pack panel discussions, keynote speeches, start-up pitches and much more into 3 days in the diverse Cypriot city.

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