The Australian Communications and Media Authority, also known as the ACMA, has been working hard to enforce the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. The main tactic used by the ACMA is to block citizens from accessing certain websites through Australian Internet Service Providers (ISPs). . On March 15, 2023 The ACMA went ahead by blocking seven suspected illegal online gambling sites and one affiliate.
About the ACMA and the Interactive Gambling Act
The ACMA is primarily responsible for the enforcement of Interactive Gambling Act 2001. The law effectively prohibits all offshore operators from offering casino games to Australian customers. Unfortunately, this climate creates a bit of a difficult situation for Australian consumers who simply want to gamble safely online.
Earlier this month, the ACMA announced a partnership with Australia’s Northern Territory to work together in an effort to enforce gambling law and protect consumers. It appears that 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 efforts to prioritize the enforcement of rules relating to spam and unsolicited marketing. The ACMA has just fined BetDeluxe $50,172 for breaching spam rules after the company sent numerous text messages promoting gambling. The messages either did not offer users a way to opt out, or the messages failed to disclose the details of the sender.
Which sites is ACMA blocking this time?
As part of the ACMA’s latest enforcement action, a total of eight sites have been blocked. Seven of these sites offer direct online gambling to Australian users, while one site, Kings without deposit, seemingly only advertises gambling and does not offer actual games. The full list of the eight blocked sites is included below:
- Wild Fortune Casino
- Casino Cosmonaut
- Casino Jacks
- Mirax Casino
- Removable slots
- N1 Bet Casino
- Kings without deposit
Of the blocked sites, the first seven are quite similar in nature. They all offer casino games directly to Australians. If we look at one of the blocked casinos, Mirax Casino, we can see an example of how these sites work.
Most of these sites are quite similar to Mirax in that they offer online casino games such as slots and table games. Wild Fortune Casino is a particularly big operator as Wild Fortune’s site seems to have significant traffic. As there is no way for these types of offshore operators to acquire a valid licence, it seems likely that sites like these will continue to pop up 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 15 March 2023, there are now a total of 706 sites on the ACMA blacklist of blocked sites. The way this works is that the ACMA requires Australian ISPs to block access to specific gambling sites through the provisions of section 313 of the Telecommunications Act.
Unfortunately, this has led to a seemingly endless game of cat and mouse between the ACMA and the casino operators. The ACMA appears to believe that these enforcement measures are effective, but in reality this is highly doubtful. Gambling websites can easily create new URLs to bypass these bans. Users have also used tactics to avoid these actions, including using a VPN and adjusting their DNS settings.
In addition to blocking the gambling websites themselves, the ACMA also blocks access to affiliate sites advertising gambling services to Australians. One of the latest sites involved in the IP blocking procedure, Kings without deposit, is a prime example of this. No Deposit Kings does not offer any gambling games, but instead provides numerous promotional codes and links to gambling services.
Blocking sites by ISPs is nothing new
As mentioned, there are now over 700 sites on the ACMA blacklist, so it is clear that the ACMA is consistently following this procedure of asking ISPs to block sites. In fact, the ACMA has acted repeatedly over the past few months, including when it blocked Pokizino and several other sites in December 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 issued threatening letters, such as when the agency ordered Proxous, a casino games supplier, to stop supplying Australian-facing casino operators with suspected illegal games.
Safe online poker and gambling still available in AUS
ACMA’s strict enforcement measures have certainly created some anxiety for Australian consumers, but thankfully, there are still reliable poker and gambling options for Australians. Australian poker players should feel free to check out this extensive guide to Australian online poker for a list of safe and reliable sites that still cater to Australians.
Maybe you are more interested in casino games. Whether you’re looking for slot machines or table games, many reputable internet casinos cater to Australians. To learn more, feel free to check out this guide to online casinos in Australia. Our top recommendation for Australian casino games is Joe Fortune Casino. To learn more about this excellent casino operator, please feel free to check out this detailed Joe Fortune Casino review.