ACMA aims to block two illegal offshore lottery websites

By Peter Lynch

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will request internet service providers (ISPs) in the country to block two illegal offshore lottery websites.

The two websites - We Love Lotto and Red Fox Lotto - will be the first lottery sites blocked in the country, after ACMA investigations found they offer tickets in major overseas online lotteries and are not licensed in Australia. Such a situation is prohibited under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

“We Love Lotto and Red Fox Lotto are both operating illegally in Australia, meaning there are no consumer safeguards in place for players,” said ACMA Member Fiona Cameron.

“Blocking illegal offshore sites protects Australians from potentially dodgy operators, where there is little or no recourse if things go wrong. Lottery services that are licensed in Australia and operating legally have important safeguards that consumers expect.”

These are the very first lottery services to be blocked, but the ACMA has been requesting ISPs to block illegal casino-style gambling sites since November 2019. A new report shows that the ACMA targeted 55 services for site blocking in the 2020/21 financial year, which resulted in a majority experiencing a decline in Australian visitors of at least 90%.

“We are very pleased with the outcome and it shows that the steps we are taking to combat illegal online gambling in Australia have had a positive impact,” added Cameron.

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