In Australia and the nation’s media and communications watchdog is continuing its campaign against unlicensed iGaming domains by announcing that it has blocked access to six more potentially shady sites.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) used an official Thursday press release to detail that it took action against the six-strong club of gambling and affiliate marketing sites over concerns that these may have been offering their services to local punters without the appropriate license. The regulator explained that this move has seen domains branded as Ninja Spins, Australian Casino Sites, Pokies Parlour, CasinoAus, AU Online Casino and Pokies Online Casino added to a ‘blacklist’ that had already encompassed over 400 other banned concerns.
Under provisions of the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 and the ACMA may compel domestic Internet service providers to block Australians from gaining access to unlicensed online gambling domains. The regulator stated that it began putting such enterprises on a ‘blacklist’ of proscribed sites in November of 2019 with this register’s inventory now running to 426.
The ACMA declared that in excess of 160 unlicensed iGaming services have abandoned the Australian market since it began ‘enforcing new illegal offshore gambling rules in 2017.’ The regulator also proclaimed that it took the decision to add the six new sites to its list of banned enterprises after investigations showed these ‘to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001.’
Read a statement from the ACMA…
“Website blocking is one of a range of enforcement options to protect Australians against illegal online gambling. Website blocking provides a valuable opportunity to alert the public to illegal gambling services through the messaging that appears when there is an attempt to access the site.”
The Asia-Pacific iGaming market is estimated to be worth up to $70 billion while interest among Australian punters is thought to have surged after the nation’s government issued stay-at-home orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This latest move from the ACMA followed the watchdog’s February decision to add twelve sites branded as Slot Vibe, Johnnie Kash Kings, Arlekin Casino, 7 Reels, Zebet, Lucky Star, Thebes Casino, 21 Dukes, Zeturf, Horus Casino, Tangiers Casino and Winward Casino to its ‘blacklist’ of banned domains.
The ACMA advised iGaming punters that they risk ‘losing their money’ if they access unlicensed sites that do not offer ‘important customer protections’. The watchdog finished by asserting that this jeopardy exists even if such domains look ‘legitimate’ with aficionados able to find more information and a complete list of blocked online services by visiting its website at ACMA.gov.au.