ACMA Blocks 6 More Online Gambling Sites in February 2023

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Regulatory bodies worldwide continue to impose rules and regulations when it comes to permitting and regulating gambling activities. Agencies such as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) have levied fines, issued threatening legal documents and used multiple enforcement methods in an attempt to get gambling websites and operators to comply with the rules. On 8 February 2023, the ACMA asked Australian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to blocked all of its citizens from accessing six specific online gambling websites.

The ACMA has blocked six gambling sites

The ACMA has used this tactic with great regularity in recent years. Requiring ISPs to block access to these sites is the most common enforcement method used by the ACMA, despite many questions about the success of these efforts.

The ACMA continues to enforce the Interactive Gambling Act

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The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 was amended in 2017 and then again in 2019. As a result, the law essentially bans all online gambling operators from offering services to Australians. The law requires all operators to acquire a license, which is simply impossible for any offshore operator with current licensing requirements.

Apart from a limited number of licensed sports bets, Australian citizens often have to resort to using a VPN or adjusting their DNS settings in an attempt to access blocked sites that offer fair and reputable games. Although the ACMA claims it is simply enforcing the rules, it seems detrimental to drive reputable operators out of Australia when customers can easily access shadier, potentially worse sites.

About blocked sites

All the sites that were blocked this time offer gambling services to Australian users. The specific gambling games offered vary, but include casino games such as slot machines, table games and bingo. In addition, several of these sites – Rock n Reels being one of them – offer sports betting.

The home page of the Rock n Reels Casino and Sportsbook websiteThe home page of Rock n Reels Casino and Sportsbook

There are six new gambling websites the ACMA has asked Australian ISPs to block from accessing. The latest blocked sites are:

  • 24 Casino
  • Pokie Surf
  • Boomerang Casino
  • Casino Olympia
  • Rock n Reels
  • Star spins

As mentioned earlier, the success of these efforts seems questionable at best. Players can use a VPN or change settings, and casino operators can quickly create new URLs to bypass ACMA blocking access. By entering a Google search query for “Pokie Surf,” we can easily see this concept in action. The first four search results are the same Pokie Surf Casino site just with slightly different URLs.

The first four results are the same Pokie Surf casino with different URLsThe first four search results are the same Pokie Surf Casino just with slightly different URLs

This is a common tactic used by casino operators to circumvent ACMA measures. If a URL is blocked, the operator can easily create a new one. As you can imagine, this can create a bit of confusion for customers looking for a safe place to gamble online.

ACMA maintains a blacklist of all blocked sites

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Since the ACMA made its first request to block sites in November 2019, total 686 allegedly illegal gambling and affiliate marketing sites have been blocked. In addition, over 190 operators have voluntarily withdrawn from the Australian market.

Prior to this latest set of blocked sites, the most recent enforcement occurred in December 2022 when ACMA blocked Pokizino and ABA Lucky 33. As of September 2022, another 15 sites were added to the blacklist.

Unfortunately, despite many questions about the success of these efforts, the ACMA continually requires ISPs to block access to gambling sites. The ACMA is also blocking gambling affiliate marketing sites in addition to producing threatening legal documents in a bid to enforce the amended Interactive Gambling Act.

Safe online poker and gambling still available in AUS

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Although the ACMA permanently blocks access to gambling sites, there are still reliable and safe options for Australians looking to gamble or play poker online.

For players who are primarily interested in casino gambling such as pokies (slot machines), table games, live dealer games as well as specialty games such as bingo and keno, we have prepared a list of the best online casinos accepting Australian players . Our number one recommended site is Joe Fortune, for which our experts have written 8000+ Joe Fortune Casino reviews.

If you live in Australia and are interested in playing poker online, please do not hesitate to consult this detailed guide to online poker in Australia.

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