The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) recently added two more offshore gambling websites to its banned list, requesting the immediate block of their services in the island nation. The latest bans mark the regulator’s ongoing efforts to rid Australia of all illegal operators. ACMA has blocked hundreds of websites, but the constant proliferation of offshore gambling websites means the commission is unlikely to run out of work.
Unregulated Operators Are Dangerous for Players ACMA’s war against illegal gambling has been raging for over three years. The authority has been working hard, uncovering and banning offshore operators with impressive speed and efficiency. Thanks to its efforts, over 650 illegal websites were blocked, with more likely to come.
The regulator is adamant that illegal gambling constitutes a serious issue and has shown little leniency to offending parties. Unregulated websites avoid paying taxes on their proceeds and rarely offer much in terms of player protection. Australian customers gambling on offshore websites cannot rely on the authorities if the operator refuses to pay their winnings. Many of these shady services also do their best to appear legitimate, increasing the pressure on ACMA to act quickly and decisively.
Two New Entries Join the Long List of Banned Websites Fortunately for Australian online gamblers, ACMA continues to report successes. Pokizino and ABA Lucky 33 are the latest offenders. Neither website had a valid license to operate in Australia, yet their services were fully available to residents of the country. Citing a breach of 2001’s Interactive Gambling Act, ACMA demanded Australian internet providers block all access to both services. The ISPs are usually quick to comply with the authority’s requests, as failure can lead to substantial fines.
Unfortunately for the regulator, determined gamblers can still circumvent these bans using VPN services. However, the practice is frowned upon, and players willing to go the extra mile to gamble offshore should not hope for any help from authorities if their illegal betting website of choice decides to pull a fast one on them.
Strict Regulations Benefit the Entire Industry Besides combating illegal gambling, ACMA also works hard to ensure that licensed operators and media outlets abide by regulations. The authority has been very active in that regard, recently uncovering two broadcasters that violated ad regulations. The companies got away with a warning and a list of recommendations, but ACMA has explicitly stated that repeated offenses would lead to much harsher punishments.
Not content with its current responsibilities, the authority recently set its sights on Australia’s social casinos. Although benign at first glance, ACMA fears that the free-to-play casino-like experiences may prompt players to try real gambling. The regulator will conduct extensive research to determine whether there is a relationship between the two and decide whether to take any action.
Despite sometimes appearing overzealous, the ACMA’s efforts are vital in ensuring that Australian gamblers can enjoy a secure betting environment. Regulated Australian operators abide by safe gambling rules and aim toward sustainability rather than a quick profit. Several similarly strict European markets have proven that tight regulations benefit businesses and clients, and the ACMA’s impressive track record also appears to support that mindset.