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ACMA Intensifies Efforts to Combat Illegal Online Gambling

In a significant step towards curbing illegal online gambling, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has escalated its efforts by issuing orders to block several additional websites found in violation of the country's gambling regulations. This latest action underscores ACMA's ongoing commitment to protect Australian consumers from the pitfalls of unauthorised gambling platforms.

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ACMA blacklists Illegal Gambling Sites
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Unprecedented Crackdown on Illegal Sites

Since November 2019, when ACMA embarked on this rigorous enforcement journey, a staggering total of 945 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked. An additional 221 illegal services have voluntarily withdrawn from the Australian market, marking a significant impact on the availability of unlicensed online gambling services to Australian residents.

Among the recently targeted sites are Lucky7even, Zota Bet, Casino Infinity, and 50 Crowns, all identified for their operations that breach the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. This act sets the legal framework for what constitutes legal and illegal online gambling, including restrictions on online casinos, pokies, and in-play sports betting without an appropriate licence.

A Strategic Approach to Enforcement

ACMA’s strategy involves a multifaceted approach to enforcement. Blocking access to these illegal sites via Australian internet service providers (ISPs) is just one of the methods employed. The authority has also been proactive in issuing warnings and taking legal action against operators that violate the Interactive Gambling Act.

Recent developments in the Australian gaming industry have seen high-profile cases, such as bet365’s investigation by AUSTRAC for potential breaches of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing laws. Such incidents highlight the complex challenges within the industry and the critical need for stringent oversight.

Consumer Awareness & Protection

ACMA emphasises the importance of consumer awareness in distinguishing between legal and illegal gambling services. Many Australians may not realise the risks associated with using unlicensed gambling sites, including the lack of consumer protection and the potential for withholding winnings. The ACMA website offers resources for consumers to verify the licensing status of wagering services, aiming to guide them towards making informed choices.

Ongoing Vigilance & Enforcement

The battle against illegal online gambling is ongoing, with ACMA continually monitoring the digital landscape for violations. The authority’s vigilance has not only led to a significant number of blocked sites but also encouraged compliance among service providers.

As ACMA intensifies its crackdown, the message to operators and Australian consumers is clear: adherence to the law is non-negotiable, and the authority will continue to take decisive actions to safeguard the public against the harms of illegal online gambling.

ACMA’s latest round of enforcement actions marks a crucial phase in the effort to regulate Australian online gambling. By blocking access to illegal gambling sites and raising public awareness, ACMA is making significant strides towards creating a safer and more regulated online gambling environment for Australians.