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William Hill abandon Australian customers

Deep in the Federal Interactive Gaming Act (2001) of Australia is the threat of harsh penalties to international firms offering prohibited gaming products to Australian residents, namely casino and poker products. Not once has the Australian Federal Government prosecuted such breaches, by the likes of Poker Stars, 888 or most international gambling firms. Only those firms which have, or have sought, an Australian licence - including the likes of Betfair (currently licensed), Ladbrokes (submitted an initial bid for the Victorian government wagering licence), Sportingbet, Unibet and Paddy Power have been affected while the poker firms in particular have wilfully flouted the law. Finally, the law has found some teeth...indirectly.

With the new trend by corporate sportsbooks of trying to position themselves in the USA should that market ever be opened to sports betting, publicly-listed betting companies are being forced to jump through an enormous amount of hoops to secure a Nevada gaming licence. The list of requirements includes not breaking any laws anywhere - so all Australian business has been binned by William Hill as of last week.

Don't despair if you're Australian and want to keep your betting options open - if the Interactive Gaming Act gets watered down under the current review, to allow casino and poker products plus in-running sports betting, the likes of William Hill and other UK firms are likely to start sniffing around in Australia again very soon....

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