The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has ramped up its efforts to combat illegal offshore gambling by urging Australian internet service providers (ISPs) to block three additional websites found to be in violation of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.
The ACMA’s investigations revealed that these services, namely Vave, Highway Casino, and Online Casinos Australia, were operating unlawfully. Website blocking stands as one of the various enforcement measures implemented to safeguard Australians against illegal online gambling activities, noted the Authority.
Presently, 747 illegal gambling and affiliate websites are already blocked in Australia. The ACMA issued its first request for website blocking in November 2019 and has since continued to expand its list of prohibited sites. And since the ACMA commenced enforcing stricter regulations against illegal offshore gambling in 2017, more than 200 illicit gambling services have voluntarily withdrawn from the Australian market.
This significant reduction in unregulated operators reflects the growing impact of the ACMA’s stringent approach to ensuring compliance with gambling laws. In light of recent developments, the ACMA emphasizes the importance of consumer awareness regarding the risks associated with using illegal gambling services.
Despite some illegal operators attempting to appear legitimate, they often lack crucial customer protections, warns the Authority. Consequently, Australians who engage with such services face the possibility of financial loss and are advised to exercise caution. To assist individuals in identifying licensed wagering services operating in Australia, the ACMA encourages citizens to consult its register.
This resource provides a comprehensive list of authorized operators, ensuring customers can confidently engage with legitimate and regulated gambling platforms. By collaborating with ISPs and continually monitoring unlawful activities, the ACMA aims to create a safer online environment for Australians who wish to engage in lawful gambling practices.
Back in March, the Authority published a report called Snapshot of Social Casinos, which provides insights into consumer habits and industry trends for this growing market. The report shows Australia was in the top five markets by consumer spend as of the first half of 2022. You can read its main findings here.