ACMA tackles illegal online gambling

By Isabella Aslam

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has increased its efforts to reduce illegal online gambling. 

To do this, it aims to block all websites that promote and drive traffic toward online casino services, alongside any affiliate advertising websites and any sites that typically present themselves as independent reviews of gambling services.  
For the first time, the ACMA has asked Australian internet service providers (ISPs) to help in their efforts to decrease illegal online gambling services. 

Blocking such sites that provide direct links to unlawful gambling is a paramount decision for the ACMA. The sites requested for blocking include: Aussie Casino Hex, Australia OK Casinos, Aussie Online Pokies, Pokies, Australian Casino Club, Australian Gambling and True-Blue Casinos. 
ACMA Authority Member Fiona Cameron believes this action to be 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. We often get complaints from consumers that winnings are not honoured and that incentives and pressure tactics target problem gamblers,” she said. 
The ACMA’s responsibilities were expanded under the Interactive Gambling Act, 2001, in 2017.

It has since been involved in significant steps to stop illegal activity. These results include blocking 279 illegal gambling websites and departing an overall amount of 144 services in Australia altogether. Alongside this, the regulator has helped with ensuring a 95% reduction in traffic to the top 10 (now) blocked gambling websites.

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