Australia bans offshore casinos in line with its responsibility to keep citizens safe. It now uses website blocking to ensure enforcement with help from ISPs. (Image by AlemCoksa on Pixabay)
In recent news, it has been reported that ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) has asked ISPs (Internet Service Providers) in Australia to block more digital gambling sites of offshore firms operating illegally in the country. The regulatory body had earlier instructed the ISPs to block some digital gambling platforms because they were owned by offshore firms who are operating illegally in Australia. Now, ACMA has added twelve unlawful offshore gambling platforms to the suspension list.
Many Online Casinos Suspended in Latest Crackdown
These suspended unlawful gambling sites owned by offshore firms include Tangiers Casino, Zeturf, Slot Vibe, Horus Casino, Zebet, Thebes Casino, Winward Casino, 7 Reels, 21 Dukes, Lucky Star, Arlekin Casino, and Johnie Kash Kings. The investigation undertaken by ACMA revealed that these websites have been offering gambling and casino services to customers in Australia; thereby violating the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 in the country.
Some of these offshore gambling providers have chosen to go against the gambling act and other provisions from the regulators in Australia. However, the ACMA has been actively taking action against offshore gambling operators that have been operating illegally in the country’s territory. This most recent action of the ACMA includes targeting online gambling websites that were expected to withdraw their services in Australia since 2001.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority is playing an active watchdog and making more efforts to thwart the unlawful gambling services rendered by these offshore firms. This move has seen the interest of Australians in online gambling increase tremendously.
According to a recent report, about ten percent of local residents in Australia who partook in the survey claimed to have placed an online bet over H1 2021. About five percent of these people admitted that they placed the wagers on offshore online gambling sites. Furthermore, younger audiences tend to be more interested in placing online bets with platforms that may not have the license to operate in Australia (as issued by competent regulatory bodies in the country).
ACMA Banks On Website Blocking As One Of The Most Effective And Available Options To Enforce Regulation
In line with the common modus operandi of the ACMA, website blocking is one of the most effective options it employs in enforcing regulation and protecting Australians from gambling with illegal gambling firms online. The ACMA wants to ensure that Australians get access to only the best online casinos. As Australia bans offshore casinos, the Australian Communications and Media Authority has once again opted to choose website blocking from its arsenal to suspend the offshore sites in question and end their illegal activities.
The first website blocking request that ACMA made was in November 2019, after which it has blocked 399 illegal offshore online gambling websites on Australia’s territory. In addition, 160 unlawful gambling platforms have voluntarily withdrawn their services in Australia since the regulatory body started enforcing tougher rules on illegal offshore gambling platforms in 2017.
For ACMA, website blocking is a great tool to ensure compliance and enforce sanctions as it also provides a great opportunity for ACMA and other Australian regulators to make the citizens aware of illegal gambling services. This feat is achieved via the text message displayed on local customers’ mobiles whenever they try to access blocked gambling platforms. This text message and other awareness from the Australian Communications and Media Authority constantly reminds Australians that they should be careful in choosing offshore online gambling operators because there are many illegal and dubious firms around, even though they may look legitimate. These illegal sites often lack the necessary customer protection. Customers who continue to use services of unlawful gambling platforms will be liable for any loss incurred because they are at their own risk.