ACMA steps up fight against illegal online gambling

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has stepped up its efforts to combat illegal online gambling by blocking websites that promote and drive traffic toward online casino type services.

For the first time, the ACMA has asked Australian internet service providers (ISPs) to block these affiliate advertising websites, which typically present themselves as independent reviewers of gambling services.

Blocking these sites is a priority for the ACMA as they provide direct links to illegal gambling services, often receiving a commission for providing them with web traffic. The promotional sites requested for blocking include:

  • Aussie Casino Hex
  • Australia OK Casinos
  • Aussie Online Pokies
  • Pokies
  • Australian Casino Club
  • Australian Gambling
  • True Blue Casinos

ACMA Authority Member Fiona Cameron said this is the next step in disrupting the major illegal operators and minimising harm to Australian consumers.

“These marketing sites can push you to illegal gambling services that do not have the protections that go with licensed and regulated services,” Ms Cameron said.

“We often get complaints from consumers that winnings are not honoured and that incentives and pressure tactics target problem gamblers.”

Illegal online gambling services include online casinos where you can play slots, roulette or poker games for money. ACMA’s actions build on significant activity taken since its responsibilities were expanded under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 in 2017. Results include:

  • 279 illegal gambling websites blocked
  • 144 services departing Australia altogether
  • A 95 per cent reduction in traffic to the top ten gambling websites blocked to June 2021 (based on Similarweb data)

“ACMA has information available to help you and is actively pursuing illegal gambling sites and their affiliates to get them out of Australia,” Ms Cameron said.

A list of illegal gambling sites that have been blocked is available on the ACMA website. The ACMA is focusing on gambling affiliate sites as a 2021-22 compliance priority, after a focus in 2020-21 on online casinos targeting Australians.

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