Australian media watchdog to block 11 more gambling sites
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is preparing to order the country’s internet service providers to block access to an additional 11 offshore gambling sites.
The regulator said it had received over 35 complaints about the sites, and through an investigation discovered that they were operating in breach of the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act.
The sites affected are Happy Hugo, Mucho Vegas Casino, Kahuna Casino, Rich Casino, Box 24 Casino, Bondi Bet, JokaRoom, Omni Slots, Fruits 4 Real, XPokies and Slottica.
ACMA advised Australian customers to withdraw any money in accounts held with the sites immediately.
The watchdog noted that since it gained the power to order ISPs to block access to unlicensed gambling sites in November last year, it has taken action against 66 websites in total.
The first blocking orders saw Emu Casino and Fair Go Casino become the first domains targeted.
The most recent round came in May this year. That saw 10 sites – Grand Fortune Casino, Raging Bull Casino, True Blue Casino, Free Spin, Two Up Casino, BoVegas, Cherry Gold Casino, Slots Empire, Real Money Casino, Red Dog Casino and Wild Joker – blocked.
“Website blocking provides a valuable opportunity to alert the public to illegal gambling services though the messaging that appears when there is an attempt to access the site,” ACMA explained.
“Consumers are directed to information about online gambling on the ACMA’s website including a register of licensed interactive wagering services for consumers to check legal services in Australia.”
It claims that more than 100 illegal operators have pulled out of the Australian market since it began taking stricter action against unlicensed providers in 2017.