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UK and Australia Tough on Online Casino Advertising

While the government has recently legalized online casino sites in the United Kingdom, advertisements for gambling services continue to be monitored closely. Recently British Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell issued a warning to online casino sites that continue to flout advertising regulations, and announced a range of strict penalties for those found to be in violation of the law. Among the new penalties targeting online casinos are fines of up to 5000 pounds sterling and up to two years imprisonment.

Similarly Australia has adopted a tough stance all of its own. Under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, advertising of online casino sites is prohibited where ‘it is likely that the majority of the site’s users are physically present in Australia.’ The Act carries massive penalties for illegal advertising but still operators of online casino sites seek loopholes in the law. The maximum fine imposed on individuals is $220 thousand Australian dollars per day, while operators of online casinos can incur fines up to $1.1 million dollars per day.

One might think that such tough anti-gambling legislation would be enough to deter even the largest online casino sites. In the United Kingdom the issue of advertising is now the responsibility of the Gambling Commission which has been tasked with thoroughly regulating the online gambling industry by 2007. However in Australia the task of policing gambling advertisements occurs mostly at state government level. Many online casino sites continue to advertise through a variety of websites in the hope of attracting Australian casino players.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.