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  • Written by a Guest Writer

In recent months, online gambling sites in Australia have seen a material increase in activity. This is likely due to the COVID19 pandemic that has kept Aussies shuttered in their homes to avoid the spread of the virus.

In particular, legal online casinos have been experiencing growth in terms of revenue and participation. It’s amazing how many Aussies want to play pokies when there is very little else for them to do in the form of available adult entertainment. Given the nation’s increased interest in online gambling, there are now dozens of licensed and registered top online casinos for Aussies that are providing the action. Unfortunately, there is also a large number of illegal offshore gambling websites that are causing turmoil for the Australian online gambling industry.

The problem really came to light a little over a month ago when the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) made clear their intentions to keep going after illegal offshore online gambling operators. The ACMA's actions came in response to Aussie residents who had recently filed more than 35 complaints against these rogue operators.

In July, the ACMA ordered the country's internet service providers (ISPs) to block 11 additional offshore gambling sites that were operating in violation of the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001. The websites blocked in July included Happy Hugo, Mucho Vegas Casino, Kahuna Casino, Rich Casino, Box 24 Casino, Bondi Bet, JokaRoom, Omni Slots, Fruits 4 Real, XPokies and Slottica. When added to the list of other blocked sites from prior months, that brought the total of blocked offshore gambling sites to 83.

Apparently, these recent attacks have had little effect on rogue operators that are still more than happy to continue operating until caught. Now the news comes out here in August that 9 more websites are going to be blocked. The new additions to the list will include Planet 7 Oz, Ace Pokies, Nordicasino, Reeltastic, Spintropolis, Enzo Casino, Times Square Casino, Royal Spinz and one unnamed site. That brings the new total to 92 with more expected to get blocked in the coming weeks.

According to the ACMA, a majority of the complaints have been coming from Australian residents who have been having difficulties getting paid monies owed them by these rogue operators. This is not something the Australian government and regulators are going to tolerate. That puts the ball squarely in the ACMA's court based on the organization's responsibility to protect Australian residents from any and all illegal gambling practices.

According to one ACMA official, "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."

For the benefit of interested parties, the official later added, "Consumers are directed to information about online gambling on the ACMA’s website including a register of licensed interactive wagering services for consumers to check legal services in Australia."

If any Australian casino gamblers encounter difficulties with illegal offshore gambling providers, they are encouraged to contact the ACMA immediately.

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