ACMA Penalizes ‘Skins’ Online Gambling Site
The media and communications watchdog for Australia has issued Feral Holdings Limited with a formal warning after finding the online gaming firm guilty of breaching the tenets of the country’s Interactive Gambling Act 2001.
The action from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will moreover compel the Belize-headquartered operator to begin blocking Australia-based punters from accessing its CSGORoll-branded eSports website.
Established in July of 2005, the ACMA disclosed that a thorough investigation determined Feral Holdings Limited had been allowing aficionados in Australia to enjoy a range of prohibited interactive gambling services including casino-style online games, which are illegal if being played for money or anything else of value.
The regulator divulged that the CSGORoll-branded domain was found to have permitted Australian players to deposit ‘skins’ from the popular Counter Strike: Global Offensive video game in exchange for in-game coins, which could subsequently be used to gamble on a range of casino-style games.
The ACMA went on to detail that its inquiry determined winnings were later being paid back to players in the form of more ‘skins’ punters could convert into real money via a plethora of third-party platforms.
Nerida O’Loughlin serves as Chair of the ACMA and she pronounced that ‘skins’ may be purchased via third-party websites or won in video games such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive so as to allow players to alter the look of virtual items and characters.
“Providing casino-style games online is prohibited in Australia when playing for money or something of value, whether that’s Australian dollars, cryptocurrency or in this case, online gaming skins,” O’Loughlin said.
“Skins gambling services are particularly concerning as they tap into a youth market and have the potential to convert gamers into gamblers.”
O’Loughlin stated that the ACMA remains committed to enforcing the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 before reminding all Australia-facing gambling and betting sites to follow local gambling laws even if they happen to be using virtual items instead of traditional currencies.
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