The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) revealed that it intends to request local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) suspend two more foreign gambling websites that have been illegally offering their services to Australian customers.
The two illegal foreign gambling websites that are to be blocked are Fortune Clock Casino and Dinkum Pokies. The regulatory body called for all Australian users who are customers of these websites to withdraw any money they may have in their accounts with the operators.
The action against Dinkum Pokies and Fortune Clock Casino was taken after the ACMA received multiple complaints about the services of the aforementioned websites. Most complaints were about poor player treatment and withholding customers’ winnings. The Communications and Media Authority investigated the allegations and found the two websites to be operating in violation of the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001.
As previously revealed by Casino Guardian, website blocking is one of the enforcement options that the ACMA has to protect local users against online gambling companies that operate illegally in Australia. So far, 150 unlawful gambling websites have been blocked since the regulatory authority made its first blocking request in November 2019.
Any gambling website that is found to be operating in violation of the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001, such as websites offering their services without an operating licence, or offering casino-style games, could be suspended by the regulatory body.
Foreign Online Gambling Sites Are Not Currently Legal in Australia
Since the Australian Communications and Media Authority started the enforcement of its rules against the illegal online gambling operators, more than 100 gambling businesses that have been unlawfully offering their services have withdrawn from the Australian regulated market.
For the time being, the regulator revealed that website blocking offers a valuable opportunity to raise the wider public’s awareness of illegal gambling through the messaging that pops up when a player tries to access the site.
The latest order of the Authority comes after the regulator already took similar measures against a number of websites throughout 2020. Back in January, the ACMA issued an order to ISPs to block nine websites, followed by a further eleven in July. The same order was issued against eight more illegal gambling websites in August. Currently, gambling on foreign websites is not legally permitted on the territory of Australia, and people who use the services of such operators face additional risks than at the times they gamble with a licensed Australian gambling firm.
The action against the unlawful gambling websites comes at a time when the number of Australian gamblers who prefer to gamble online is rising. Several reports revealed that local consumers became more oriented towards online gambling during the lengthy coronavirus lockdown when the majority of sports events and competitions were cancelled or postponed, and land-based gambling venues were closed as part of the authorities’ measures aimed at preventing the further spread of the Covid-19 infection.