The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is requesting Internet Service Providers (ISPs) block even more offshore gambling sites that are in breach of Australian laws.
In 2020 there have been several rounds of gambling site blocks by ACMA. The most recent request was made just this week as will impact right offshore sites:
- Planet 7 Oz
- Ace Pokies
- Enzo Casino
- Times Square Casino
- Royal Spinz
According to ACMA this request is due to reports of poor player treatment as well as the sites withholding winnings. ACMA is urging users of these sites to remove their money now.
Australia allows offshore gambling sites to be blocked
At the end of 2019 ACMA began forcing ISPs to block gambling sites that were found to be in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. The decision to block these sites came after a slew of reports from Australians who were having difficulty accessing their winnings and deposited funds.
ACMA is able to force ISPs to block these sites in accordance with section 313 of the Telecommunications Act. This section is explained by the Parliament of Australia website:
"Section 313 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 provides Australian government agencies (including state government agencies) with the ability to obtain assistance from the telecommunications industry when upholding Australian laws. Commonwealth agencies have used section 313 to prevent the continuing operation of online services in breach of Australian law (e.g. sites seeking to perpetrate financial fraud)."
Blocking these sites seems to be the easiest solution for the government since they don't operate within Australia.
“Too often these offshore operators are defrauding Australians – and their websites typically provide very few, if any, harm minimisation controls,” said Paul Fletcher, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts in a statement last year.
“While ACMA has a range of powers to protect Australians from illegal gambling services – including issuing formal warnings and seeking civil penalty orders – it can be difficult to take direct action against faceless companies with no legal presence on our shores.”
Since the initial blocking request last year 92 gambling sites have been blocked in Australia. Over 100 have been blocked since ACMA began introducing new offshore gambling regulations in 2017.
If you'd like to speak to someone about your gambling, feel free to give Gambling Help a buzz on 1800 858 858, or call Lifeline on 13 11 44.