ACMA takes aim at the black market with far reaching ISP request

The Australian Communications and Media Agency (ACMA) has requested Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block 10 black market offshore betting websites.

Website blocking is one of several tools at the ACMA’s disposal to safeguard Australian bettors from illicit illegal online operators.

Following a number of complaints, the ACMA chose to investigate the websites in question, and found them to be operating in violation of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

Specifically, the ten sites were considered to be offering betting services in contradiction of established Australian industry standards.

The 10 illegal websites are Play Croco, Aussie Play, Golden Reels, All Spins Win, Bonza Spins, Pokie Spins, Golden Pokies, House of Pokies, Pokie Mate and PokieZ.

This has brought the total number of blocked black market gambling websites to 238 since the first request was submitted in November 2019.

Additionally, over 130 illegal sites have been removed from the Australian market since 2017, following the enforcement of new gambling rules concerning black market operators.

Last month, the authority requested ISPs to remove 18 gaming websites, and described the practice of website blocking as ‘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’.

The announcement comes as UK gambling regulators and licenced operators debate the presence of an illicit black market betting economy in the country, as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) continues with its review of the 2005 Gambling Act.

Claims by legal operators that further regulation could drive customers towards black market betting websites have been continually dismissed by Britain’s regulatory bodies and gambling law reform advocates.