Wednesday, 29 November 2023

ACMA Clamps Down on Unlicensed Offshore Gambling Sites

Written by  The Dubrovnik Times Mar 14, 2022

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) requested internet service providers (ISPs) to block the offshore online gambling sites Zebet, Slot Vibe, Zeturf, Johnnie Kash Kings, Arlekin Casino, Tangiers Casino, Horus Casino, 7 Reels, Winward Casino, Thebes Casino, and 21 Dukes.

ACMA investigated these offshore gambling sites and found them guilty of violating the Australian Interactive Gambling Act of 2001. The ACMA started requesting ISPs to block offshore gambling sites in November 2019, and so far, it has blocked 399 gambling sites licensed in offshore jurisdictions.

Australian internet service providers have been demanded by the ACMA to block several offshore gambling sites which have been in operation illegally. Fortunately, Aussie players still have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to reputable and fully licensed online casinos.           

More than 160 online casinos and online slots stopped accepting players from Australia after the ACMA started enforcing the amendments to Australia’s online gambling laws in 2017. Requesting ISPs to block offshore online casinos is one of the several enforcement measures the ACMA has implemented to protect Australian online casino players from unlicensed online casinos.

The ACMA alerts Australian online casino players and warns them against playing at unlicensed online casinos through the simple act of blocking them. Whenever Australian players try to access a blocked online gambling site, the ACMA warns them that offshore online gambling sites are not likely to protect customers from gambling harm even if they appear to be legitimate. Australian players who deposit money and play for real money at unlicensed online casinos risk losing money.

ACMA Blocks Online Lottery Services

The ACMA requested Australian ISPs to block two offshore online lottery services in November 2021. Red Fox Lotto and We Love Lotto used to sell tickets to international online lottery games in Australia without an Australian license. They were the first online lottery services to find their way to the ACMA’s block list.

During the financial year 2020 – 21, the ACMA investigated 55 online gambling services, found them guilty of violating Australian gambling laws, and requested ISPs to block them. As a result of the ACMA’s crackdown on several offshore online gambling services, there was a 90% decline in the number of Aussie players trying to access offshore online gambling sites.

ACMA Member Fiona Cameron said the authority was pleased with the results of its efforts to curb illegal online casino gaming. Ever since the ACMA started enforcing amendments to Australian online gambling laws in 2017, 147 gambling sites left the Australian market.

Whenever Australian residents try to access an online casino on the ACMA’s block list, they will be directed to the official website of the ACMA, where they can get information about legal and illegal online gambling sites.

The official website of the ACMA provides the following information:

  • Register of online gambling sites licensed to offer their services in Australia
  • Tips to stay safe from illegal offshore gambling sites
  • Procedure to complain against illegal online casinos

Why the ACMA Blocks Illegal Gambling Sites

The Government of Australia has granted the ACMA the power to request ISPs to block access to illegal gambling sites under the Telecommunications Act of 1997. If the ACMA finds an offshore online casino guilty of serious civil or criminal offense, it has the power to request ISPs to block it.

These offenses include violations of Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act of 2002. The ACMA can block websites if they provide prohibited online gambling services to Australian residents. Prohibited online gambling services include online slots, online casinos, and live sports betting.

The ACMA can block offshore online casinos that provide services to Australian residents without getting a valid online gambling license from Australian authorities. It is also an offense to advertise prohibited online gambling services within Australia.

The complete list of gambling sites blocked in Australia is available on the official website of the ACMA.





The Voice of Dubrovnik


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