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ACMA launches lawsuit against online poker providers

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has brought civil action against two people and a company involved in providing online poker to players in Australia.

The lawsuit follows an ACMA investigation which found the defendant was offering online poker games to Australian gamblers in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) 2001.

Rhys Edward Jones is accused of providing banned online gambling services to Australians between March 2020 and March 2021, assisted by Brenton Lee Buttigieg, who was involved in promoting and directing customers to these services.

The civil proceedings also target Diverse Link Pty Ltd, which continues to provide online poker services in breach of the IGA.

The online poker company initially operated under the PPPfish brand before renaming itself Shuffle Gaming and later Redraw Poker.

The company invites players to join poker clubs through a mobile app and then make deposits through a separate website to acquire chips via wire transfer or bitcoin. These deposits are then credited to their account at the poker club for participation in games.

The defendants face a maximum penalty of up to 1.66 million Australian dollars (1.1 million euros) per individual, this penalty being multiplied by five for companies.