Australian Online Poker Alliance Challenges Regulator Claims (Update)

Reliable departing operators are being replaced with questionable sites that offer less consumer protection

Last week’s report by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) claiming success in stamping out unlicensed online gambling operations (see previous InfoPowa report) has been challenged by Joseph Del Duca, who heads the Australian Online Poker Alliance (AOPA).

Del Duca says that the vacuum left by operators warned off by the regulator is being filled with questionable operators, placing Australian players at risk, and that the changes in online gambling laws have done little to discourage determined Australian online poker fans from playing.

In a statement, Del Duca observed: “During our campaign we have spoken with thousands of Australian poker players. To a person, nobody we have spoken to has stopped playing. They have merely shifted to different sites.

“Yes, some grey market sites may have gone, but they have been replaced with different ones. If anything, there are more unregulated poker sites for players to choose from today than there was previously. Many of the new emerging sites are much worse than the ones that ACMA has forced away.”

Challenging the ACMA, Del Duca suggested that the regulator stops “patting itself on the back over false truths” and instead takes a more serious approach for the protection of players.

“The only way that they can do that is by joining with us to call for the Morrison Government to amend the IGA and to bring safe, regulated, online poker back to Australia,” he concluded.