GIG Online Casino Brands Quit Australia

GIG Affiliates, the affiliate program of online gambling company Gaming Innovation Group, today announced that its iGaming brands will no longer be available to Australian players.

The announcement about GIG leaving the Australian market came shortly after the country’s government voted in favor of proposed amendments to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, its online gambling law. When the new regulations come into force, the provision of unlicensed online casino and poker operations will become illegal Down Under. What is more, it will be practically impossible for interested operators to apply for an iGaming license and to obtain one.

As per GIG Affiliates’ message, the Guts, Betspin, Rizk, Thrills, Kaboo, and SuperLenny brands will no longer accept Australian players from May 15.

Leaving Australia ahead of the pending market re-regulation, GIG and its websites have become the latest industry representatives to join the iGaming exodus to have been witnessed over the past several months. Online gambling operator Vera&John left the local market late last year, at a time when the re-regulation effort had just been introduced, thus paving the way for other industry members.

888poker followed suit, shaking the Australian iGaming community seriously. The online poker brand of Gibraltar-based operator 888 Holdings announced its departure in January, citing the challenging regulatory environment in the country.

Another Gibraltar-licensed and headquartered company – 32Red – also pulled out from Australia. However, it did so after Australian MPs approved the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016, the legislative piece that would overhaul the country’s online gambling market.

Gambling operators leaving soon-to-be-regulated markets has become a growing trend in the iGaming space, particularly given the fact that more and more countries are closing doors to unlicensed operations. Operating in a regulated environment has been seen as an indication to one gambling company or another’s readiness to comply with laws, even though those may not be that much business-friendly.

It is still unknown when exactly the amendments to Australia’s remote gambling laws will be implemented. And despite multiple requests from the country’s iGaming community, it is believed that MPs may not be ready to compromise on matters in relation to the provision of online casino games and poker.

Bearing this in mind, more and more operators will follow the example of their counterparts and will shut their doors to Australian players. According to many, PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker room, will not take much long before quitting Australia. The operator has been strict in complying with laws since it was shamefully banished from the US for providing real-money gambling options to local players after the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

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