Nine Illegal Gambling Sites Blocked by Australian Authorities

  • ACMA instructed local ISPs to block sites after receiving 79 complaints
  • Operators found to be in violation of the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act
  • Australian residents advised to immediately withdraw all funds from such accounts
  • Recent order follows blocking of two other illegal gambling sites in November 2019
Laptop keys with Australian flag and the word casino superimposed
The Australian authorities have blocked access to nine illegal gambling sites and are advising platform users to withdraw all funds from their accounts. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

The latest in an ongoing crackdown

The Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) has ordered regional internet service providers (ISPs) to block nine different illegal online gambling platforms. 

The nine gambling sites in question are Joe Fortune, Ignition Casino, GW Casino, Casino Dingo, Wager Beat, Top Bet, Roo Casino, AU Slots, and XBet. 

sites were found to be violating the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001

There were 79 separate complaints made to the authorities in relation to the services of these operators, which led to an investigation into each of the platforms. The nine sites were found to be violating the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 through their operations.

The ACMA is warning individuals based in Australia with accounts on these nine sites to immediately withdraw all of their funds. 

An effective campaign to date

The ACMA has also detailed how more than 90 different illegal online gambling operators have stopped targeting people in Australia since the rules barring these unauthorized platforms came into effect in 2017. 

November 2019 saw the two first-ever illegal gambling websites to be blocked by Australian ISPs, Fair Go Casino and Emu Casino. While players can no longer gamble on these sites, they can still access their customer accounts to take out any remaining funds. 

The power of ACMA

The ACMA is vested with wide-ranging powers to protect the country’s residents. These include issuing formal warnings or seeking civil penalty orders if it deems them necessary. The authority can impose restrictions such as internet access blocks thanks to section 313 of the Telecommunications Act.

According to these provisions, the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, or another senior executive in the ACMA needs to approve each respective ban before it goes ahead. If no signing off takes place within a certain period of time, the suspension request will then expire.

The ACMA regularly monitors that the ISPs are doing their job properly in blocking illegal gambling sites, ensuring that actions are “responsible, effective, and properly executed.”

Australia’s battle against illegal gambling

Australia has faced an ongoing battle against illegal gambling operations targeting Australian residents over the years.

government loses out on approximately AU$100m (US$69m) worth of tax revenue annually

The Communications and Arts Minister, Paul Fletcher, previously estimated that as much as AU$400m (US$276m) is gambled on illegal gambling platforms each year. This means the government loses out on approximately AU$100m (US$69m) worth of tax revenue annually. 

While the ACMA has successfully blocked offshore illegal operators, prosecuting them has proven to be close to impossible, as these are not legally present in Australia.