Asia round-up: New Australian self-exclusion register; IR office closes & Fun888

A new self-exclusion register is coming to Australia, the country’s telecoms watchdog has announced. 

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New self-exclusion register to launch in Australia 

A new self-exclusion register is coming to Australia, the country’s telecoms watchdog has announced. 

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has unveiled its plans for 2022/23, in which it called online gambling a “compliance priority." 

Its main activity regarding gambling will be to establish a new national self-exclusion register. This will cover licensed online gambling and telephone betting services. 

Australians will be able to exclude themselves from these activities for anywhere between three months and permanently. 

The ACMA gave a prospective launch date of early 2022/23. Nerida O’Loughlin, ACMA Chair, commented: “The register will provide an avenue for people who want help changing their gambling habits and will complement existing consumer protection measures. 

“Once you choose to self-exclude, it will be an offence for a licensed wagering provider to open an account for you, take a bet from you or market gambling services to you. The ACMA will be enforcing those rules.” 

The federal agency possesses the power to set standards concerning advertising and consumer protection, and can investigate non-compliant operators. Other priorities listed by the ACMA include a crackdown on SMS and identity theft phone scams, as well as combatting misinformation on digital platforms.

Wakayama to close IR office on 30 June 2022 

The Wakayama prefecture in Japan will close the office that had coordinated its attempt to earn a licence for developing a casino complex.  

“Once you choose to self-exclude, it will be an offence for a licensed wagering provider to open an account for you, take a bet from you or market gambling services to you. The ACMA will be enforcing those rules” Nerida O’Loughlin, ACMA Chair

Wakayama’s IR office is set to close on 30 June 2022, almost three years since the region was first identified as a prospective option to host an integrated resort (IR). 

However, after the region rejected local government plans to develop an IR, the promotion office has become all but obsolete. 

This is despite a late push from Wakayama’s Governor, Yoshinobu Nisaka, for Wakayama to reapply for an IR once the Japanese authorities open a new round of applications.  

A reapplication has not come to pass, however, and the IR promotion office is set to be absorbed into another regional department of Wakayama’s Planning Policy Bureau.  

Revenue owed to PAGCOR by Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators repaid 

PAGCOR has announced 35% of revenue owed by Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) has been repaid. 

Although only 35% of the PHP2.33bn (US$43.6m) has been returned to the Philippines gaming regulator, PAGCOR claims the issue has been “resolved with finality.” 

Despite the repayment, it may take some time for the repayment to PAGCOR to make its way back to the public. 

The amount repaid to PAGCOR by POGOs had been under protest, according to the regulator. 

PAGCOR attests, though, that the bill amount was a result of its “fight against illegal online gambling and its overzealousness to maximise collections, which led it to impose assumed or estimated billings for suspected undeclared websites. 

“After thorough revalidation, no link between the suspected undeclared websites and concerned POGOs was established. In fact, the undeclared sites were actually websites of illegal operators stealing the live stream of our licensees.” 

Fun88 launches Fun888.TV in Thailand 

Fun88 has initiated its official agent, Fun888.TV, in Thailand.  

Fun88 offers sports betting information for Asian markets and is now available in Thailand under Fun888.TV.  

Players in Asia still have “little access to the latest news about sports tournaments, football and esports from all over the world,” according to Fun888. 

The information website claims to have created its Fun888.TV platform to satisfy the needs of bettors and sports fans seeking information on all things sport.

Missed a big gambling industry story in Asia? Don't worry, Gambling Insider has you covered with our Asia round-up. 

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