The communications watchdog for Australia will reportedly soon have new capabilities that will allow it to crack down on unscrupulous online gambling websites via the implementation of local banning orders.
According to a Monday story from The Guardian newspaper citing an earlier report from the Australian Associated Press news service, Australians regularly spend around $280 million every year with foreign online gambling operators but often run into difficulties when attempting to recoup winnings and deposits.
The newspaper reported that the improved powers due to be given to the Australian Communications and Media Authority fulfill one of three legislative recommendations that emerged following a 2015 nationwide review into interactive gambling. This evaluation was purportedly led by the former Premier of New South Wales, Barry O’Farrell, and contained 19 specific proposals on how the nation could more effectively combat dishonest online gaming operators.
The Guardian reported that the Australian Communications and Media Authority will soon be able to conduct investigations into suspicious offshore online casino and sportsbetting sites and order local Internet service providers to block access should it subsequently be unable to take appropriate enforcement actions.
Nerida O’Loughlin (pictured), Chair for the Australian Communications and Media Authority, reportedly told the news service that the improved powers are to be an invaluable weapon in the fight against illicit online gambling as there is now ‘little to no recourse for consumers engaging with these unscrupulous operators’. She purportedly detailed that some 65 illegal iGaming operators had ceased offering their services to punters in Australia since her organization began implementing a range of new enforcement rules in 2017.
Paul Fletcher, Australia’s Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, reportedly declared that offshore online gambling operations annually account for approximately $69 million in lost tax revenues and often defraud players with their sites typically containing ‘very few, if any, harm-minimization controls.’