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Australian ACMA blocks more offshore iGaming websites

Posted on: Dec 15, 2021, 8:44 a.m.

Last update on: December 15, 2021, 8:44 a.m.

Australians who use one of the many offshore online gambling websites will soon find that they can no longer go online. The crackdown on unlicensed iGaming operations continues, with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) adding 14 more sites to its list.

Australian Communications and Media Authority
The office of the Australian Communications and Media Authority in Australia. The watchdog continues to crack down on illegal offshore gambling sites, adding 14 more to block. (Image: ABC News)

In an update yesterday, ACMA reported that it had contacted Internet service providers (ISPs) nationwide, asking them to block a large number of sites. The watchdog submitted a list of online gaming operators and affiliate marketing sites that it said were not legal to operate under the Interactive Games Act 2001.

Website blocking provides a valuable opportunity to alert the public to illegal gambling services through the messaging that pops up when there is an attempt to access the site, ”ACMA says in its announcement .

The ACMA has spent years investigating the web to determine which sites could illegally target Australian players. It relies on the cooperation of ISPs to block sites once they are identified.

Since 2017, when new online gambling laws and controls were introduced, more than 400 offshore sites have been forced out of the market. Most of them, over 375, arrived after 2019, when ACMA was allowed to block access by ISPs.

A tough battle

Web monitoring for sites that target Australian gamers is an ongoing process. While a platform can find a new website address, it can always reappear and pick up where it left off. If it serves other countries or jurisdictions, it will remain open and users will have to figure out how to bypass the controls.

The sites that should now be blocked are Aus Casinos, Australia Casino, Ax Casino, Casino Shortlist, Casino4u, Casino-On-Line, Comet Room, Golden Lady Casino, Lucky Dreams, No Deposit Bonus Blog, No Deposit Friend, Online Casino Australian , Paradiso Room and Spin Samurai

Online casinos aren’t the only targets either. The ACMA took on the We Love Lotto and Red Fox Lotto lottery sites last month. This was an effort to reach the rapidly growing segment of online lotteries. These two platforms, and others like them, offer online access to foreign lotteries; however, are not permitted in Australia.

ACMA isn’t just tackling offshore websites that prey on Australians. Last month, he slapped Tabcorp on the wrist after the company’s online sports betting platform authorized more than 37 in-play bets on a college basketball game in the United States.

As live betting gains traction in the US market, Australian gambling laws still prohibit it. Tabcorp apologized, mostly attributing the problem to an error by a third-party vendor. However, she also admitted to making a technical error which allowed the bets to be processed.