One cent and penny auction investigation

We delve into the murky world of one cent or penny auctions.
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03.Is anything being done about penny auctions?

When CHOICE approached several Australian experts in gambling and online gaming in 2011, none had heard of penny or one cent auctions. While the pokies and online poker websites are well-known and well-covered by the media in this country, these smaller operations, which seem to be gaining popularity worldwide, are barely a blip on the radar.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the regulator charged with enforcing the Interactive Gambling Act, takes the view that the sites are just like eBay.

“ACMA has received a number of complaints about online auction sites, including penny auctions and has investigated these,” says a spokesperson. 

“[We] have taken the view that most online auction sites resemble traditional auction processes. The element of ‘chance’ or of ‘mixed chance and skill’ in an online auction process is no greater than that which applies to any more orthodox auction... despite the urgency of the penny auction process and its ‘game-like’ feel.”


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