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ACMA to block two more offshore gambling sites

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will order internet service providers (ISPs) to block two more offshore gambling websites, and is urging customers of the brands to withdraw their money now.

Dinkum Pokies and Fortune Clock Casino are the sites targeted with the latest blocking orders, following numerous complaints about these operators, including the withholding of winnings and poor player treatment.

The authority undertook investigations following the complaints and found the websites to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

Since the ACMA made its first blocking request in November 2019, 150 illegal gambling websites have been blocked. Over 100 illegal operators have also pulled out of the Australian market since the authority started enforcing new rules – and punishments – for offshore gambling in 2017.

Website blocking is considered a valuable opportunity to alert the public to illegal gambling services through messaging which appears when there is an attempt to access the websites.

Any website found to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, for example by operating without a licence, or offering casino-style games, is liable to be blocked by the ACMA.

The latest order comes after the ACMA ordered several batches of websites to be blocked throughout 2020. Nine websites were blocked in January, along with a further eleven in July and eight more in August.

In April, the New South Wales Office of Responsible Gambling (ORG) issued a consumer warning to online gamblers in the state.

ORG director Natalie Wright said at the time: “For people that do want to gamble online, you should only use services licensed in Australia, as there are consumer safeguards in place and responsible gambling options, such as the ability to set time and expenditure limits,”

“Overseas gambling websites are illegal in Australia, and people who use them face additional risks than when they gamble with a licensed Australian operator”.

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