The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) continues to tighten its measures on illegal betting and has requested ISPs to block affiliate websites that promote and drive users to online gambling sites and services.
ACMA Blocks Sites Promoting Online Gambling Services
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced it would start blocking websites promoting or driving towards online gambling sites and services. The organization has sent a request to ISPs in the country to block affiliate advertising sites, which present themselves as independent reviewers of gambling services. ACMA investigated the illegal operators, against which there were numerous complaints, and found that they operated in breach of the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act.
ACMA’s targeted sites include Australian Gambling, Australia OK Casinos, Pokies, Aussie Online Pokies, Aussie Casino Hex, Australian Casino Club and True Blue Casinos. The authority has made it its priority to block these sites. ACMA Authority Member Fiona Cameron said, “These marketing sites can push you to illegal gambling services that do not have the protections that go with licensed and regulated services.”
The ACMA, which saw its responsibilities expanded under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, increased its targeting of black market sites this year, blocking eighteen sites in February and ten more in March. It has blocked over 279 illegal gambling sites, making Australia’s blocked sites decrease by 95% as of June 2021. Problem gambling and harm related to it have become one of the main concerns for the country.
Players Complain That They Didn’t Get Their Winnings
The affiliate websites link directly to illegal gambling services and receive commissions from these operators for providing traffic to their websites. Illegal online gambling services are websites that include online casinos where players pay cash to access slots, roulette and poker games. Cameron added that the ACMA often receives consumer complaints that they didn’t get their winnings and that incentives and pressure tactics target at-risk gamblers.
In March, ACMA flagged certain shortcomings, restricting credit gambling in Australia. According to the authority, Australians accessed phone lines, requesting credit to gamble money they don’t have. Some of the individuals would have never qualified for credit under normal circumstances, but were able to receive money. The measures, enforced by ACMA, include monitoring of the money exchanged between players and operators, as well as a number of exemptions and the establishment of a credit contract.
The regional government of the state of Queensland recently announced its four-year gambling harm reduction plan. It focuses on social responsibility for the industry and leveraging technological and collaborative efforts to minimize gambling harm.