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Request for Internet Service Providers in Australia to block review sites with illegal gambling ads

Senior Reporter

Hundreds of illegal online casinos in Australia have been blocked over the years due to illegal operations. Yet, they keep surfacing, and review sites are being less than helpful in terms of eliminating the criminal and civil offenses caused by them. Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) reaches out to the country’s internet service providers for backup, as illegal online gambling activities continue posing risks to problem players and those who underestimate the importance of a gaming license on casino sites. AMCA representatives instruct consumers to report unlicensed gambling services.

Request for Internet Service Providers in Australia to block review sites with illegal gambling ads
Image: pixabay.com

Australia’s ongoing battle against illegal online gambling services

First thing’s first - Australia has a series of strict regulations when it comes to online gambling. The 2001 Interactive Gambling Act explicitly states that both local and offshore online casinos are forbidden from providing services to Australian players unless a license by ACMA has been acquired. Additionally, operators are prohibited from advertising gambling services to anyone who lives in the country. These regulations are meant to protect problem gamblers, those who are under a self-exclusion register, and the rest of casino lovers who don’t fancy getting scammed by sleazy casino operators.

Unsurprisingly, hundreds of illegal casino sites and their affiliates undermine the importance of such regulations and operate despite their lack of proper gaming licenses. In turn, the Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) takes consistent action to eliminate the web critters. In 2017, at least 279 illegal casino sites were blocked, which significantly reduced the traffic for gambling services offering real money slots, roulette, or poker games without required credentials.

Affiliate casino review sites add to the existing problems

Blocking illegal operators was only half the fight. Affiliate review sites have played a massive role in contributing to unlawful gambling activities by advertising and providing direct links to restricted casinos. Aside from creating additional traffic for unlicensed gambling services, said affiliates served as a gateway for players on the self-exclusion register. 

Operators without a license typically fail to check players’ documentation and make it far too easy for problem gamblers to give in. What’s worse is that a prohibited line of credit on illegal casinos enables compulsive players to overspend when completing deposits and making bets. Safe to assume that such casino sites don’t bother to keep away addicted consumers - it’s more money, after all.

Online gambling providers that don’t abide by the law often tend to operate without any regard for their consumers. Any gambling site that follows ACMA guidelines must offer a Spending Limit option to new and existing players. This system allows gamblers to stay within their self-enforced restrictions by disabling access the second maximum limit amount is reached. Illegal online casinos deliberately exclude this option to make more money from financially irresponsible gamblers.

Communications and Media Authority takes action

While it’s difficult to wipe out every illegal casino site in Australia, there is a way to cut off a considerable chunk of revenue by eliminating commission-driven advertisements. The ACMA made it a 2021-2022 priority to do just that. Authority reps reached out to Australian internet service providers (ISPs) for assistance in tackling the issue. 

Any affiliate casino review sites offering direct links and reviews for illegal gambling services will now be blocked by ISPs all across Australia, per request of ACMA representatives. Authority member Fiona Cameron spoke on behalf of the organization’s mission to protect Australian gamblers,

“These marketing sites can push you to illegal gambling services that do not have the protections that go with licensed and regulated services...We often get complaints from consumers that winnings are not honored and that incentives and pressure tactics target problem gamblers.", Cameron stated.

Additionally, Australians were advised last week to report any illegal activities on gambling platforms, forbidden prohibited interactive services, unlicensed casinos, unauthorized advertisements, and prohibited lines of credit. ACMA’s official website provides instructions additional instructions for the complaint forms. Fiona Cameron made an all-inclusive statement, motivating residents to battle the issue as a team:

"ACMA has information available to help you and is actively pursuing illegal gambling sites and their affiliates to get them out of Australia," she encouraged the public.

In efforts to cut off traffic to illegal casinos, Australia’s internet service providers received a request to block the following affiliate sites:

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

ACMA’s representatives warn players against partaking in unlawful gambling services. The official website offers information on Australia’s gambling laws, tips on avoiding unlicensed operations, and potential risks of gambling on illegal casinos.

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