The Australian Communications and Media Authority, also known as the ACMA, has worked diligently to enforce the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. The major tactic the ACMA has utilised is to block citizens’ access to certain websites through Australian Internet Service Providers (ISPs). On March 15, 2023, the ACMA continued by blocking seven supposedly illegal online gambling sites and one affiliate.
About the ACMA and the Interactive Gambling Act
The ACMA is primarily responsible for enforcing the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. The Act basically bans all offshore operators from offering casino gaming to Australian customers. Unfortunately, this climate creates a bit of a difficult situation for Australian consumers who simply wish to gamble safely on the internet.
Earlier this month, the ACMA announced a partnership with the Northern Territory of Australia to work together in an effort to enforce gambling law and protect consumers. It appears as though this agreement simply means that the two agencies will communicate and share information. Nothing of note regarding Australian gambling law has changed.
The ACMA has also made an effort to prioritize enforcing rules relating to spam and unsolicited marketing. The ACMA just fined BetDeluxe $50,172 for breaking spam rules after the company sent numerous text messages advertising gambling. The messages either offered consumers no way of opting out or the messages failed to disclose the sender details.
Which Sites Did the ACMA Block This Time Around?
As a part of the most recent ACMA enforcement action, eight sites were blocked in total. Seven of these sites offer direct online gambling to Australian consumers while one site, No Deposit Kingsseemingly only advertises gambling and offers no actual gaming. The full list of the eight blocked sites is included below:
- Wild Fortune Casino
- Cosmonaut Casino
- Casino Jax
- Mirax Casino
- Rolling Slots
- N1 Bet Casino
- No Deposit Kings
Of the sites blocked, the first seven are fairly similar in nature. All of them offer casino gaming directly to Australians. If we take a look at one of the blocked casinos, Mirax Casino, we can see an example of how these sites operate.
The vast majority of these sites are quite similar to Mirax in that they offer online casino games like slots and table games. Wild Fortune Casino is an especially large operator as the Wild Fortune site seems to boast significant traffic. Because there is no way for these kinds of offshore operators to acquire valid licensure, it seems likely that sites like these will continue to spawn and offer gambling services to Australians regardless of what the ACMA hopes to achieve.
There Are Now 706 Sites on the Growing Blacklist
As of March 15, 2023, there are now a total of 706 sites on the ACMAs blacklist of blocked sites. The way that this works is that the ACMA asks Australian ISPs to block access to specific gambling sites through the provisions of the Telecom Act section 313.
Unfortunately, this has resulted in a seemingly never-ending game of cat and mouse between the ACMA and the casino operators. The ACMA seems to believe that these enforcement measures have been effective, but in reality, this is highly questionable. Gambling websites can easily create new URLs to circumvent these bans. Consumers have also utilised tactics to avoid these actions including the use of VPNs and adjusting their DNS settings.
In addition to blocking gambling websites themselves, the ACMA has also blocked access to affiliate sites advertising gambling services to Australians. One of the most recent sites included in the IP blocking procedure, No Deposit Kingsis a clear example of this. No Deposit Kings does not offer any gambling, but instead, it provides numerous promotional codes and links to gambling services.
ISPs Blocking Sites is Nothing New
As mentioned, there are now over 700 sites on the ACMA blacklist, so it is clear that the ACMA has consistently followed this procedure by asking ISPs to block sites. In fact, the ACMA has acted multiple times over the past few months including when it blocked Pokizino and a few other sites back in December of 2022.
Another example of recent enforcement came when the ACMA blocked Pokie Surf and a number of other sites earlier this year. The ACMA has also issued warnings and drafted threatening letters, like when the agency ordered Proxous, a casino game supplier, to stop supplying Australia-facing casino operators with supposedly illegal games.
Safe Online Poker and Gambling are Still Available in AUS
The ACMA’s heavy-handed enforcement measures have certainly created a bit of unrest for Australian consumers, but fortunately, trustworthy poker and gambling options for Australians still exist. Australian poker players should feel free to peruse this extensive guide to Australian online poker for a list of safe and trustworthy sites that still cater to Aussies.
Perhaps you are more interested in casino gaming. Whether it be slot machines or table games you seek, plenty of reputable internet casinos serve Australians. To learn more, feel free to explore this Australian online casinos guide. Our top recommendation for Australian casino gaming is Joe Fortune Casino. To find out more about this excellent casino operator, please feel free to check out this detail-oriented review of Joe Fortune Casino.