As part of its constant battle to crack down on illegitimate gambling in the country, the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) has asked internet service providers to block another five websites from operating. All five of the websites in question are operating in Australia from offshore locations.
Spin Bit, Fight Club Casino, Kim Vegas, Queenspins, and Yoju Casino are the five names that the ACMA deems to be contravening the country’s gambling act. All five of these operators were investigated by ACMA after complaints had drawn attention to their sites.
In a statement, the ACMA said that it wanted to urge the public to remember that just because a site appears to be safe, it doesn’t mean that it is. Many operators will act without meeting the appropriate requirements. This could lead to customers losing their money through nefarious means.
Fiona Cameron, an ACMA authority member, said that they regularly receive complaints from customers. The incentives are winnings not being paid and how they faced pressure tactics that target problem gamblers.
The first requests to block websites by the ACMA were made in November 2019. This was when they shut down two offshore gambling websites: Emu Casino and Fair Go Casino. In these cases, the ACMA received over 50 complaints. The websites were also found to be providing casino-style games, which are prohibited under the 2001 act.
ACMA chair Nerida O'Loughlin made a statement regarding applying measures to offshore websites. They said no single measure will be successful all the time. However, blocking access to websites sends a strong statement. They can and will take action to stop those operating illegally and are targeting vulnerable Australians.
Since those initial requests, the authority has blocked a total of 324 websites. This includes Grand Rush, Jackpot Jill, Koala Royal, National Casino, and Juicy Stakes - which were all blocked last month.
It is not just operators that have faced bans in Australia either. The authorities also started targeting gambling affiliate websites. The following seven websites were all banned from operating in Australia.
The authority believes blocking websites serve a purpose beyond restricting access. It gives them an opportunity to direct potentially vulnerable customers to their website. Here, they can get information about illegal services. A visit to any of the casinos will redirect players to the ACMA service.
The ACMA was formed in July 2005. This was when the Australian Broadcasting Authority and the Australian Communications Authority combined to become one. They were integral to the introduction of the Spam Act in 2003. This outlawed unsolicited communications containing a hyperlink of Australian origin on websites operating from offshore locations.