ACMA orders to block more illegal gambling websites to protect Australian consumers

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has directed internet service providers (ISPs) in Australia to block eight more illegal offshore gambling websites, following investigations that revealed these sites were operating in violation of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 reported Asia Gaming Brief.

The websites flagged for blocking are Jogi Casino, Dundee Slots, Lucky Hunter, Lucky Wins, Lukki Casino, Spin Fever, Clubhouse Casino, and Winport Casino as per a report in igamingbusiness. This decision is part of a broader effort by ACMA to shield Australians from the risks associated with illegal online gambling services.

Since initiating its first blocking request in November 2019, ACMA has blocked a total of 975 illegal gambling and affiliate websites. Additionally, more than 220 illegal gambling services have exited the Australian market due to ACMA’s rigorous enforcement of offshore gambling rules.

Website blocking is one of several enforcement measures employed by ACMA to protect consumers. This is done if a site offers games not permitted under Australian law, such as online casinos, online slots, and in-play online sports betting, or if the site operates without a valid license.

“Even if a service appears legitimate, it is unlikely to have important consumer protections,” ACMA cautioned. “This means our laws can’t help if something goes wrong, like if the service provider withholds winnings. Australians can check if a wagering service is licensed to operate in Australia on our register.”

In addition to blocking gambling websites, ACMA can also request ISPs to block sites that advertise prohibited gambling services or unlicensed operations. So far in 2024, ACMA has issued blocking orders against 28 websites, including the latest round. In earlier actions this year, ACMA targeted sites such as Lucky7even, 50 Crowns, Rockwin, Bitdreams, and Mr. Pacho for breaching national laws.

Last year, ACMA also took action against operators like Ladbrokes, Neds, Bet365, and Sportsbet for violating in-play betting rules. These operators used Fast/Quick codes to facilitate in-play betting, which is restricted under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. Although these brands eventually complied with the rules, ACMA had them under regulatory scrutiny.