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Australia comms regulator blocks more illegal offshore gambling websites

In a move to curb illegal online gambling, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has requested that internet service providers (ISPs) block additional offshore gambling websites found to be operating in breach of the country’s regulations.

The latest sites targeted for blocking include A Big Candy, Jackpoty, and John Vegas Casino, the ACMA announced.

This comes as part of the regulator’s ongoing efforts to protect Australian consumers from the risks associated with unlicensed and unregulated gambling platforms.

“Website blocking is one of a range of enforcement options we use to crack down on illegal online gambling,” said an ACMA spokesperson. “Since we made our first blocking request in November 2019, a total of 995 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have now been blocked.”

The crackdown on illegal offshore gambling operators has also led to over 220 such services withdrawing from the Australian market since the ACMA began enforcing new rules in 2017.

Online gambling in Australia is regulated by the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (the IGA). The IGA makes it an offence to provide certain gambling services to a customer physically present in Australia via the Internet. Exceptions exist for licensed services that provide online wagering, sports betting and lotteries.

Data from Responsible Wagering Australia analysis developed by H2 Gambling Capital on Australia’s offshore wagering industry pointed out that the illegal offshore market in the country was worth more than AU$1 billion ($667.6 million), about 15 percent of the total gambling market.

The report has also forecast that from 2022-27, racing and sports bodies could lose AU$1.6 billion ($1 billion) in product fees to illegal offshore gambling markets, while AU$1.3 billion ($868.1 million) in taxes could be lost.

The ACMA is urging consumers to be cautious, as even services that appear legitimate may lack important customer protections.

“Australians who use illegal gambling services risk losing their money,” the ACMA warned, encouraging people to check the agency’s register to verify if a wagering service is licensed to operate in the country.

The move comes amid growing concerns over the proliferation of online gambling in Australia. According to industry data, the country’s online gambling market has grown rapidly in recent years, with a significant portion of that activity occurring on unlicensed offshore platforms.

“Illegal offshore gambling operators pose a significant risk to Australian consumers,” said the ACMA spokesperson. “By blocking these sites and cracking down on unlicensed activity, we’re working to create a safer and more regulated online gambling environment for Australians.”

Nelson Moura
Nelson Mourahttp://agbrief.com
Editor and reporter with 10 years of experience in Greater China, namely Taiwan and Macau, in printed and online media, with a focus on finance, gaming, politics, crime, business and social issues.

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