The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is taking aim not just at the operators who try to operate in the country without a license, but also at those who enable them. That is why the latest enforcement move by the watchdog has targeted four affiliate gambling websites that try to drive traffic towards their partner brands.
ACMA Takes Aim at Illegal Affiliates
Now, though, ACMA has decided to put the crack on both operators and affiliates and it is doing so by targeting the highest value brands which have been generating a good amount of traffic. The latest affiliate partners sanctioned under the Gambling Act 2000 include AU Online Casino, Australian Casino Sites, CasinoAus, Pokies Online Casino.
Two gambling operators were also added to the list, including Pokies Parlour and Ninja Spins. ACMA has already requested from all relevant internet service providers (ISPs) to limit access to these websites so that consumers may not stumble upon them browsing. Some VPNs gaps are still possible, but an ISP ban would mean that a good number of virtual networks will fail anyway, offering a further layer of protection for consumers.
Australia has been one of the most vulnerable markets to offshore gambling because of the lack of licensed alternatives at home. Much of the industry is land-based with iGaming not allowed or limited to sports betting. However, ACMA has stepped in its efforts and over the past three years, the regulator has been able to block over 426 gambling websites it has deemed illegal.
Rogue Operators Continue to Target Aussie Players
Not all websites are necessarily illegal per se – some claim they simply operate “offshore.” However, this has not changed the fact they continue to target Australian customers without the necessary licenses to do so. As a result, ACMA has been blocking offenders. Most prominent brands chose to discontinue operations themselves as regulators in Australia warned that they would complain about the overseas licensing bodies of those brands.
“Website blocking provides a valuable opportunity to alert the public to illegal gambling services through the messaging that appears when there is an attempt to access the site,” ACMA concluded. Most recently, ACMA blocked 12 illegal gambling sites in February. The regulator also cautioned about an increase in the overall rate of gambling in the country.