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ACMA orders more gambling sites to be blocked in Australia

| By Robert Fletcher
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has requested a further three offshore gambling websites be blocked in the country after ruling they have been operating illegally.
Australia gambling blocking ACMA

ACMA flagged A Big Candy, Jackpoty and John Vegas Casino for breaching the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. The regulator is now requesting Australian internet service providers (ISPs) block access to each site.

The three websites offer some form of online casino games to players. Operators wanting to run online gambling in Australia must hold the relevant licence. 

“ACMA is reminding consumers that even if a service looks legitimate, it’s unlikely to have important customer protections,” ACMA said. “This means Australians who use illegal gambling services risk losing their money.”

Almost 1,000 gambling websites blocked since 2019

Website blocking is one of several enforcement options to protect Australians against illegal online gambling.

Since ACMA began making blocking requests in November 2019, some 995 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked. A Big Candy, Jackpoty and John Vegas Casino are the latest additions to this expanding list.

Furthermore, over 220 illegal services have exited Australia since ACMA began enforcing illegal offshore gambling rules in 2017.

Website blocking is not limited to operators that do not hold the correct licence. ACMA can also make such requests if the website is offering games not permitted in Australia such as online slots and in-play sports betting.

ACMA blocking orders surpass 30 in 2024

So far this year, ACMA has made 31 blocking requests against sites it deems to be running online gambling illegally.

Last month, a group of eight sites were flagged by the regulator. Jogi Casino, Dundee Slots, Lucky Hunter, Lucky Wins, Lukki Casino, Spin Fever, Clubhouse Casino and Winport Casino were all found in breach of regulations.

Back in March, another eight sites were sounded out by ACMA. Lucky7even, 50 Crowns, Rockwin, Bitdreams, Mr Pacho, Casino Infinity, Zota Bet and Spicyjackpots all face blocking orders.

In February, ACMA also singled out 12 other websites. These include Playzilla, Wazamba, Zet Casino, Slots Palace, Nomini, Casinia, SG Casino, Fez Bet, Buran Casino, Spin Better, Golden Bet and Clash.gg.

However, it is not just smaller brand facing the wrath of ACMA. Late last year, Entain-owned Ladbrokes and Neds, as well as Hillside’s Bet365 and Sportsbet were all blasted by ACMA for breaching in-play betting rules.

ACMA initially said the operators breached interactive gambling rules by using Fast/Quick codes to facilitate in-play betting on sports. The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 prohibits in-play betting on sports matches, with only limited exceptions.

The brands were later deemed to have complied with rules after initial contact from ACMA. As such, it opted against any further action.

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