Australia’s ACMA blocks 8 gambling sites

When playing online, the first step is to find a reputable and trustworthy site. It can be a game of hit and miss, but that’s precisely where long-lasting brands and government agencies swoop in to protect the everyday player. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is doing a great job so far, and since November 2019, it has protected plenty of players from wasting their time, enabling a safe and regulated online playing ground. Its latest batch of banned sites only raises its legitimacy, but there is plenty everyone can do to help and stay safe while gambling online in Australia (and elsewhere in the world).

1. Always play at established sites/brands

While it may sound like newcomers to the industry and upstarting young sites may be at a disadvantage, time is the ultimate test. Online gambling sites that have operated for some time have an established reputation and can operate because they play by the rules. However, according to Jonathan Askew’s brand new list of reputable and quality online casinos, there are plenty of new sites that offer a safe, entertaining, and reliable gaming experience. He adds that new sites are opening every week, so it’s crucial that players stay informed and only choose trusted sites to play at, especially in light of the recent blocking.

2. What to avoid?

The ACMA is nearing 1000 sites and affiliates banned since its first ban wave in November 2019. 945 sites are blocked so far, and the latest eight include Rockwin, Mr Pacho, Zota Bet, Lucky7even, Bitdreams, 50 Crowns, Casino Infinity and Spicyjackpots. Every site on the list was found to be violating the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act and its recent Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2023.

The violation can be about any point from the bill, from false advertisement (or illegal advertising on its site) to operating an online casino without a license, but the ACMA is still silent about the reason. One important notable distinction is that the ACMA does not have direct power to shut down websites; it can only issue warnings about law breaches. But the ACMA can request Australian ISP to blacklist certain domains, which was proven fruitful in the past.

Players should only play at trustworthy sites, but companies that aim to provide online gambling should always adhere to the letter of the Australian law. Also, players can always refer to the ACMA register if they doubt any online gambling site’s legitimacy.

Australia’s ACMA blocks 8 gambling sites

3. Casino affiliates

Both local and off-shore sites are under the watchful eye of the ACMA. It’s important to note that Australian law prohibits online casinos, so local players are accessing off-shore options, but potential dangers still lurk. And while players can use a VPN to access them and keep their data safe, the ACMA is still weeding out affiliate casino operators who harm user experience. Local Australian casinos can face a fan or ban/block if they provide any gambling service currently prohibited by law.

These services are at the moment of writing, online casinos, slot machines and in-play sports betting. While it may sound harsh, the list is a perfect explanation of why local Aussie players turn to off-shore variants until changes happen. A casino can also violate the law if it operates without a valid or expired license or if a site shows ads encouraging any of the aforementioned illegal services.

The ACMA is not slowing down, as it nears its 1000 sites blocked. Wazamba, Nomini, Fez Bet, Buran Casino, Golden Bet, and others, were recently added, as player safety becomes the norm in sweeping legislature changes. The mentioned add ban shows how dedicated the ACMA is to protecting local casino players, and future credit card restrictions will only make it harder for potential malicious sites to harm the Australian player base. When all the practices are combined with the latest amendment to the Interactive Gambling Act, more illegal sites will appear on the list.