As the coronavirus crisis shutdown for entertainment and gambling venues continues across Australia, the Office of Responsible Gambling in New South Wales has urged people to stay away from unlicensed online casinos. The government agency issued a warning about the risks of playing at illegal offshore gambling sites, citing poor customer protections and a lack of regulatory compliance.
The media release was published on 30 April by the Office of Responsible Gambling (ORG) in New South Wales, which sits within the Better Regulation Division of the Department of Customer Service. According to ORG director Natalie Wright, many Australians could be tempted to use the services of unregulated online gambling operators based in offshore jurisdictions as they have no options for playing slots and other casino games legally.
Currently, all casinos, as well as pubs and clubs hosting poker machines are closed as a result of authorities’ efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The health crisis, which saw all nonessential businesses in the country shut down last month, continues and it is unclear when venues would be allowed to open. On Thursday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that some of the restrictions would be eased starting from Friday, 1 May.