The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) officially revealed that it is set to ask Australian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to suspend more unlawful online gambling sites.
The country’s communications and media services watchdog shared that it had received multiple complaints regarding 18 offshore gambling websites that have been offering their services to local customers without an operating licence. After an investigation was held, the regulatory body found that the foreign gambling websites had been operating in violation of Australia’s 2001 Interactive Gambling Act.
The sites that are set to be blocked by the Australian ISPs include Syndicate Casino, Fast Pay Casino, 7 Bit Casino, BitStarz, Joo Casino, Loki Casino, Casino Nic, Wild Card City, iLucki, Joka VIP Room, King Billy Casino, Golden Star Casino, Woo Casino, Bet Chain, King Johnnie, Gunsbet, Get Slots and Spinago.
In its statement, released on February 18th, the Australian Competition and Media Authority urged local customers to make sure they withdraw their money from the above-mentioned sites as quickly as possible.
The ACMA also reminded that illegal website blocking is one of the enforcement options available to the regulator to help it protect local consumers from illegal offshore gambling sites. A total of 222 unlawful gambling websites have been suspended since the Competition and Media Authority finalised its first blocking request in November 2019.
ACMA Sees Gambling Websites Block as Way to Raise Public Awareness
The Australian Communications and Media Authority explained that suspending gambling websites that are not in line with the offshore gambling rules of the country’s legislation actually comes as a valuable opportunity to raise the public’s awareness of unlawful gambling services and the negative consequences that could originate from using such services through the messages that are displayed whenever users are trying to access the banned website.
As a result of the aforementioned enforcement options given to the ACMA, and more specifically, the watchdog’s rights to ban illegal online gambling site, more than 100 unlawful gambling service providers have voluntarily withdrawn from the Australian market since the Authority officially started the enforcement of the new rules for illegal offshore gambling operations in 2017.
The blocking requests come after in November 2020, the ACMA reminded all licensed gambling operators in the country they are expected to comply with Australia’s rules for gambling advertising. Previously, the regulatory body found and unveiled some inconsistencies in the way a number of gambling companies had interpreted the country’s existing regulations for the sector.
As mentioned above, this is not the first time the ACMA has requested Australian Internet Service Providers to ban online gambling sites that operate without the necessary licence. The last time when the regulatory body called for such measures was in November 2020, with four illegal offshore gambling websites becoming subject to the blocks – Viggoslots, Gibson Casino, Malibu Club Casino and Always Vegas.