Strewth! LeoVegas are Leaving the Australian Market...Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017 15:13
Following in the footsteps of PokerStars, 888Casino, PartyPoker, and 32Red Swedish online casino LeoVegas have announced that they are leaving the Australian market in response to new gambling regulations. In early August, the Australian Senate moved to pass an updated version of the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill which is set to introduce a number of new regulations and restrictions for online gambling operators in Australia. The new legislation will prevent all remote operators from offering online poker and in-play sports betting in the country. This has resulted in a mass exodus of operators from the region with LeoVegas the latest company to announce their departure.
Another Blow for Australian Players
LeoVegas have announced that they’ll be leaving the Australian market, pulling all real money operations in the country on September 10th. The company has already informed its affiliates that the revenue share created by users in Australia will cease being part of their monthly figures and has told all of its Australian partners to end all activities aimed at Australian users.
The announcement is the latest in a long line of blows for Australian players with their choices of poker, gaming, and bingo becoming more and more limited. Australian gamers will no longer have access to the Swedish company’s award-winning gaming platform which offers an excellent collection of slots, table games, poker and live casino.
The move is also set to adversely affect revenue at the company. LeoVegas’ Q2 financial report for 2017 released in early August showed that revenue for the region accounted for 7.6% of the company’s overall revenue for the first 6 months of the year.
Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016
In August, the Australian Senate officially passed the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 which placed a national ban on the provision of online casino and poker. The bill has been designed to protect vulnerable online gamblers and to curb the rise of gambling addiction in the country. In 2016 Australians betted more per capita than any nation in the world and the Australian government feared that a problem gambling epidemic in the region would be inevitable if something wasn’t done. A blanket ban on online casinos and poker was seen as the best solution for combating the problem.
Since the Australian Senate first approved the amendments to the Interactive Gambling Bill 2016 in March last year a number of online gambling operators have pulled out of the region. Online bingo operator Vera & John was first to leave the region in December 2016 and were soon followed by 888 Casino in January, 32Red in April and PokerParty and PokerStars in August.
Under the new laws, which are set to come into effect in the coming weeks, all online gaming brands in Australia will be required to hold a local gaming license. Any operators who take bets from punters without a local license will be liable for fines of up to A$1.35 million (US$1 million/€950,200) per day with companies possibly being charged as much as A$6.75 million.
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