Australia blocks online gaming websites

ACMA, the comms authority in Australia, announced the first offshore online gaming websites will be blocked as part of their illegal operations clampdown.

Australia.- The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is enforcing the illegal activity clampdown with ISPs. That’s why the regulator in Australia has announced the first blocked offshore online gaming websites.

Emu Casino and Fair Go Casino are the first victims of the illegal offshore website restrictions.

ACMA revealed it found out both sites were operating online casino-style games prohibited under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. 

“Emu Casino and Fair Go Casino are illegal sites that target Australians,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said. “Between the two we have received more than 50 complaints about their conduct,” iGaming Business quoted.

“They’re happy to take your money when you lose. However, people have reported to us that they refuse to pay out winnings. If you have funds deposited with these – or any other an illegal offshore gambling site – you should withdraw those funds now.”

“Enforcing Australian laws against offshore companies is challenging. There is no single measure that will be successful in every case,” O’Loughlin said. “Blocking access to websites sends a strong message that the ACMA can and will take action to stop illegal operators from targeting vulnerable Australians.”

The measure

Communications and Cyber Safety Minister Paul Fletcher revealed last week that a new initiative will require ISPs to start fielding requests from ACMA to block illegal sites.

“While ACMA has a range of powers to protect Australians from illegal gambling services – including issuing formal warnings and seeking civil penalty orders – it can be difficult to take direct action against faceless companies with no legal presence on our shores,” Fletcher said.

ACMA released a General Policies and Procedures guide earlier this month. It’s designed to provide transparency on the methods it will use to exercise its powers to have ISPs block sites. The policies include consultation periods before requesting the providers to block sites.

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