The Australian government’s efforts to clean up the Aussie facing gambling industry entered a new phase this week as media regulators cracked down on gaming operators who hide behind the .cc domain.

Based out of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, a territory of Australia that’s planted smack in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the .cc domain has been used as a cover by grey market sports betting sites looking to skirt Australia’s vigorously enforced gaming regulation. Operations working under the .cc domain are almost never actually based on the islands themselves and are more likely to be based out of Eastern Europe or the Carribbean.

Investigators at the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), are concerned that many of these sites are offering illegal live betting on Australian sporting events, as well as operating without a gaming license. Both of these offenses are in violation of the Australian Interactive Gambling Act (IGA).

In an interview with ABC News, a spokesman for the ACMA described how the sites are being targeted saying:

When deciding if a site should be investigated, the ACMA considers a number of factors, including whether the service being provided may be a prohibited or unlicensed service … and whether it may have an Australian-customer link.

Authorities are keen to halt illegal and grey market gambling in an effort to protect their citizens from unregulated, and possibly unscrupulous, websites. That has always been one of the hallmarks of the IGA.

According to the ABC report, the problem with .cc sites has been growing recently and authorities are keen to shut it down before it gets much worse.


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