The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is taking action against six offshore gambling and casino affiliate sites that have been serving local players without a local license. Regulators made the move as part of a larger effort to protect Australian gamblers from fraud, identity theft, and the other risks associated with gambling with unlicensed operators.
Websites targeted for blocking by Aussie ISPs in this round include: Golden Crown Casino, Sol Casino, PowBet, ExciteWin, Sportaza and Gamble Online. None of these sites are legally serving Australians, though all are clearly trying to do just that.
Blocking is an effective method of preventing unlicensed operators from illicitly serving regulated gaming markets, and it’s one that the ACMA uses often, and with great effect. Using authority granted by an amendment to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. Since that authority was granted, the ACMA has blocked 447 illegal gambling sites from serving Australian players. An additional 160 that were operating casino or affiliate sites outside of regulator’s purview have also pulled out of the Australian market since blocking powers were granted.
In a statement posted on the ACMA website, an unidentified official commented on the logic of blocking illegal gambling sites saying, “Website blocking provides a valuable opportunity to alert the public to illegal gambling services through the messaging that appears when there is an attempt to access the site.
The ACMA is reminding consumers that even if a service looks legitimate, its unlikely to have important customer protections. This means Australians who use illegal gambling services risk losing their money.”
Austrlia is just one of many countries that are taking a closer look at offshore gambling, and its impact on consumers, in light of the ongoing pandemic.