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ACMA orders more websites to be blocked in Australia

| By Richard Mulligan
Australia’s communications watchdog has told internet service providers (ISPs) to block a further 12 gambling websites.
ACMA, Interactive Gambling Act 2001

The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) request came after investigations found the services to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

Playzilla, Wazamba, Zet Casino and Slots Palace were among those identified by ACMA. The authority can request that sites are blocked if they are providing prohibited or unlicensed interactive gambling services to customers in Australia.

The other sites which are to be blocked are Nomini, Casinia, SG Casino, Fez Bet, Buran Casino, Spin Better, Golden Bet and Clash.gg.

Since the ACMA made its first blocking request in November 2019, some 926 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked. ACMA said that more than 220 illegal services have pulled out of the Australian market since it started enforcing illegal offshore gambling rules.

“The ACMA is reminding consumers that even if a service looks legitimate, it is unlikely to have important consumer protections. This means our laws can’t help if something goes wrong, like if the service provider withholds winnings,” said ACMA in a statement.

ACMA acted over in-play betting

In December, ACMA took aim at four leading online gambling brands, including Ladbrokes and Bet365, as it accused them of breaching in-play betting rules. In a statement published in December 2023, ACMA conceded that the four brands had eventually complied with rules so it would not be taking further enforcement action.

The authority said the operators had breached interactive gambling rules through the use of “Fast/Quick codes” to facilitate in-play betting on sports. Entain-owned Ladbrokes and Neds, as well as Hillside’s Bet365 and Sportsbet, were the four guilty parties named by ACMA.

Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act 2001 prohibits in-play betting on sports matches, with only limited exceptions. These include placing the bet over the phone, whereby the player must make an actual phone call to make the wager.

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