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Redraw Poker’s Parent Company Fined AU$5 Million, Deregistered for Offering Illegal Gambling

In a ruling on Monday, the Federal Court of Australia ordered Diverse Link Pty Ltd to pay a penalty of AU$5 million (USD$3.4 million) for provided unlicensed, and thus illegal, online gambling through the website Redraw Poker. The case from which the order came was a civil suit filed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) against Diverse Link, Rhys Edward Jones, and Brenton Lee Buttigieg.

Redraw Poker’s website appears to be defunct.

According to court documents, total deposits through Redraw were AU$4.2 million (USD$2.9 million), though this only accounts for banking transactions, not Bitcoin deposits. Justice David Thomas does not believe that Diverse Link will be able to pay the AU$5 million fine, but hopes it will serve as a warning to other companies that may consider violating the country’s gambling laws.

Aside from being unlicensed, one of the primary problems the judge had with the site was that customers complained that there were absolutely no guardrails for gamblers. One user he quoted in his ruling said, “There is no responsible gambling feature, allowing people to make multiple accounts under fake identities…I have lost thousands at this site and asked to be banned multiple times but they can’t honour requests or just don’t have the care or capacity.”

Redraw went through multiple iterations over the course of a couple years. From “at least” early March 2020 to early January 2021, people could create accounts and purchase chips on the PPPFish website, chips they then used to play in the PPPFish clubs on the PPPoker app. Chips could be bought via bank transfer or Bitcoin.

In early January 2021, PPPFish closed and accounts were migrated to Shuffle Gaming clubs. Then, just a couple months later, Shuffle Gaming clubs were shuttered and accounts and their related funds were moved to Redraw Poker. At that point, people could play on the Redraw Poker clubs on the PPPoker app. The process of registering accounts and buying chips on the Redraw Poker website sounds similar to how it was on the previous two sites.

The ACMA will deregister Diverse Link Pty Ltd as a result of the ruling and subsequent fine.