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ACMA Pressures Curacao to Crack Down on Illegal Online Gambling

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has revealed that it has been actively pursuing the Curacao Gaming Control Board (CGCB) to take action against iGaming operators offering illegal online gambling services in Australia. Despite numerous requests, the Caribbean island, which is semi-autonomous and controlled by the Netherlands, has been slow to respond. However, ACMA has recently received assurances that Curacao will address the issue.

ACMA Pressures Curacao to Crack Down on Illegal Online Gambling

According to ACMA officials, nearly 1,000 websites promoting and facilitating illegal online gambling activities, including slots, table games, bingo, lottery games, and sports betting, are accessible in Australia. Many of these sites operate under licenses issued by the CGCB, making Curacao a significant hub for offshore iGaming operators targeting countries where online gambling is prohibited, such as Australia and China.

Acknowledging the need for reform, Curacao is in the process of establishing the Curacao Gaming Authority to improve gaming regulations and oversight. One significant change will prevent Master Gambling License holders from subcontracting their licenses to third-party online gaming firms, thereby curtailing the proliferation of unregulated iGaming sites. ACMA has expressed willingness to collaborate with the Curacao Gaming Authority to combat illegal online gambling and enforce Australian laws.

As part of its regulatory efforts, the Curacao Gaming Authority will require all iGaming permit holders to provide a patron dispute resolution mechanism on their platforms. This move aims to enhance consumer protection and regulatory oversight within the online gambling sector.

Cyprus Gaming License

Curacao is not the only jurisdiction serving as a base for online gaming enterprises. Other notable iGaming hubs include the Philippines, Malta, the Isle of Man, and Gibraltar. These jurisdictions issue operating licenses to online casinos, which are then used to offer gambling services in countries where iGaming is prohibited or unregulated. Such activities undermine legal gaming industries and pose risks to consumers and government revenue.

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has highlighted the significant impact of illegal iGaming on the US economy, estimating that residents wager approximately $400 billion annually on illicit platforms. AGA President and CEO Bill Miller emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts among policymakers, law enforcement agencies, regulators, and legal businesses to combat illegal gambling effectively.

"This is a fight we're in for the long haul to protect consumers, support communities, and defend the law-abiding members of our industry," Miller stated, underscoring the ongoing efforts to address the challenges posed by unlawful online gambling activities.


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