Keeping Illegalities At Bay: ACMA Issues Blocking Orders Against More Offshore Gambling Sites

ACMA Orders ISPs to Block Illegal Gambling Websites

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is on a spree of late, blocking illegal gambling websites at a rapid pace. In February 2023, the ACMA announced to ISPs that they were required to block six more illegal offshore gambling providers; Boomerang Casino, Olympia Casino, Rock n Reels, Stellar Spins, 24 Casino, and Pokie Surf. This brings the total number of illegal gambling and affiliate sites on the blocked list to 686.

A short history of ACMA blocks

The ACMA has only been dishing out blocking requests since 2019. In just under four years, the organization has made a significant impact on the illegal offshore gambling and affiliate marketing industry. As you can likely tell by some of the casino names (like Boomerang Casino), some of these websites are aimed squarely at the Australian market. 

The full list of blocked gambling websites exists live on the ACMA website. Here, website owners or associates can also put in a request to reconsider the ban. With hundreds of websites on the list, the ACMA has been very busy indeed.

About the ACMA

The ACMA doesn’t just oversee gambling licensees and affiliates operating in Australia. They are the regulators of all communications and media services in Australia> This means that their services extend to overseeing television broadcasters, online media companies, and anyone advertising to the Australian public across any medium in the country.

Some of their recent findings include:

  • A breach of the Code of Practice by ABC’s Four Corners, an investigative journalism television show. The breach was in regards to its production of ‘Fox and the Big Lie’, a show about Fox’s coverage of various parts of Trump’s presidency. 
  • One Central West FM88 was found to be in breach of its licensing conditions which required a narrowcasting service, to operate with low-power in the given region.
  • Channels Seven and Nine breaching the terms of service in regards to gambling advertising, showing betting advertisements outside of the allowed times and within the bounds of operation during events, which included Olympic coverage.
  • The Victorian Institute of Technology breaching spam laws for sending over 6000 emails without consent.

The latest from the ACMA

The latest from the ACMA comes after a renewed focus on illegal gambling activities in the country. Some of the most recent blocking orders came shortly after ACMA announced its aim to concentrate on affiliates that advertise and promote traffic to illegally operating online casinos. This of course doesn’t mean all such sites should be tarred with the same brush. There are certainly quite a few trustworthy ones who follow the regulatory body’s rulebook, NoDepositQuest being one of them.

Affiliate marketing is the practice of separate companies conducting marketing activities to promote another business. In the case of gambling affiliate marketing, these companies usually receive either a flat fee per new customer who signs onto a gambling service, or a percentage of the total amount that the customer bets over the course of their relationship. There are also other structural agreements that vary, depending on the company, the affiliate structure, and also the markets of operation of the gambling website itself.

Illegal offshore gambling in Australia

While the ACMA has been requesting ISPs to block illegal gambling websites and their affiliates since 2019, the ACMA has also been enforcing new offshore gambling regulations since 2017. The offshore gambling market has exploded over the past decade or so, as various countries around the world provide inexpensive gambling operator licenses so that anyone with a bit of capital can launch a betting site. Still other companies have built huge companies off the back of physical gambling operations before making the move into online gambling.

For those that don’t want the undertaking of complying to various gambling regulations and audits, there is the affiliate marketing side where money can be made in providing marketing services to gambling operators.

However, with this increase in services also comes a wave of illegal operations, where gambling operators either are unlicensed entirely, or are operating outside of the bounds of the laws within Australia. Because of this wave of illegal operations, the ACMA is focused on keeping the Australian public safe by blocking them from access in Australia.

By asking all Australian ISPs to block access to these websites, it means that people will not see the website if they enter the website address in their browser and try to visit it. While circumventing this blocking via a VPN is possible, it’s not advisable, as the block exists to keep people safe. Australian ISPs also block other websites such as illegal file-sharing sites thanks to anti-piracy regulations, plus other illegal content that is considered against the law in the country.

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