The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced today it is about to ask Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country to block more illegal gambling websites. The independent Commonwealth statutory body posted a list of 11 offshore gaming operators, advising their customers to undertake step towards withdrawing funds from them.
Blocking Websites to Enforce Consumer Safety
ACMA outlined it had received plenty of complaints regarding the operations of Happy Hugo, Mucho Vegas Casino, Kahuna Casino, Rich Casino, Box 24 Casino, Bondi Bet, JokaRoom, Omni Slots, Fruits 4 Real, XPokies, and Slottica, and its investigation found them all in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. And blocking their websites is the enforcement measure ACMA is going to undertake, despite the availability of other tools for remedy.
The power to request blocks of websites ACMA derives under section 313 of the Telecommunications Act, but each request has to be signed off by the chair, deputy chair or a senior executive from the media authority, and have a specified period of expiration.
In May 2020 another group of 10 illegal gaming websites were blocked, to protect Australian consumer from possible harm while dealing with non-licensed gaming operators. These were Grand Fortune Casino, Raging Bull Casino, True Blue Casino, Free Spin, Two Up Casino, BoVegas, Cherry Gold Casino, Slots Empire, Red Dog Casino, and Wild Joker.
Before that, in January, another 9 offshore companies had their websites submitted to ISPs for blocking, Roo Casino, GW Casino, Wager Beat, Joe Fortune, Ignition Casino, Casino Dingo, AU Slots, Top Bet, and XBet, as the media regulator claimed 79 complaints were received against them.
The regulator of communications and media services in Australia started implementing websites blocking back in November 2019, and since then has blocked 66 illegal gaming services. Blocking offshore gaming serves two purposes at the same time – enforcing action by preventing customers from having access to illegal gambling companies, on one hand, while educating the public by delivering useful messages, on the other.
Whenever a gambler attempts to visit an offshore gambling website, a message pops up that can direct the customer towards valuable information on the ACMA’s website, and provide legal alternatives in the form of a list of all licensed services the gambler can choose from, or to be able to check whether a preferred option is legal or not.
ACMA stressed the effectiveness of its decisive actions, pointing out more than 100 illegal gambling operators were forced to leave the country since 2017, when the regulator firmed up its approach.