The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has today asked internet companies to censor, and effectively block access to 11 online casinos who the authority claims are operating illegally in Australia.
Under the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) it is illegal for unlicensed gambling and wagering providers to offer services to Australians. A 2017 revision of the IGA handed ACMA powers to block access to illegal gambling sites. The IGA requires Australian internet service providers (ISPs) to disable access to any online casinos or other wagering providers that ACMA place on its blacklist.
The latest list of online casinos to be added to the list are:
- Happy Hugo
- Mucho Vegas Casino
- Kahuna Casino
- Rich Casino
- Box 24 Casino
- Bondi Bet
- Omni Slots
- Fruits 4 Real
ACMA investigations found the casinos listed to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. The ACMA has now requested ISPs to block access to these websites for Australians.
Website blocking or censorship, is one of a range of enforcement options designed to protect Australians against illegal online gambling. ACMA claim to have blocked 66 illegal gambling services since November 2019, and to have forced over 100 illegal operators to withdraw from offer Australians services.
The latest blacklist update comes as the result of over 35 complaints about these services being accessible to Australians.
Australians attempting to access online casinos on the blacklist will be directed to information about online gambling on the ACMA’s website including a register of licensed interactive wagering services for consumers to check legal services in Australia.
Despite Australians featuring prominently in the global gambling scenes such as online poker and the 2011 National Productivity Review recommending legalisation of online poker tournaments, the Australian government currently has no plans to legalise online poker or online casinos in the near future. The only online licensed wagering providers in Australia ore online bookmakers.