ACMA issues first blocking orders against affiliate websites

| By Robert Fletcher
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued its first blocking orders against seven affiliate gambling advertising websites.

The organisation ordered internet service providers (ISPs) in the country to block access to Aussie Casino Hex, Australia OK Casinos, Aussie Online Pokies, Pokies, Australian Casino Club, Australian Gambling and True Blue Casinos.

ACMA said these sites had been presenting themselves as independent reviewers of gambling services, adding that blocking the websites is a priority as they provide direct links to illegal gambling services and often receive a commission for providing them with traffic. 

“These marketing sites can push you to illegal gambling services that do not have the protections that go with licensed and regulated services,” ACMA authority member Fiona Cameron said.

“We often get complaints from consumers that winnings are not honoured and that incentives and pressure tactics target problem gamblers.”

The authority began making blocking requests in November 2019 when it was granted new enforcement powers. Since these came into effect, 279 gambling sites deemed to have been operating illegally have been blocked.

Offshore gambling websites operated by Kings Chance Service were the most recent to be blocked during the latest round of orders issued in June.

In addition, some 144 operators have pulled out of Australia since ACMA began enforcing new illegal offshore gambling rules in 2017.

“ACMA has information available to help you and is actively pursuing illegal gambling sites and their affiliates to get them out of Australia,” Cameron said.

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