The Australiana Communications and Media Authority has not given an inch back to unregulated gambling sites in Australia. In fact, ACMA has been quite consistent in enforcing the rule of law and making sure that any operator that has no legal right to operate under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 is suspended from the market.
In the latest regulatory action, the watchdog has issued ISP bans to nine gambling companies that were operating in the country without the legal right to do so. Among those are brands such as 21Bit Casino, Lucky Elf Casino, Lets Lucky, Boho Casino, Winning Days, and others, and not least – BC.Game.
Each of these brands has been banned over a failure to comply with the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 which states that an entity needs to have a license issued by a local authority in order to proceed with offering online gaming products. Presently, online casinos are prohibited in Australia, while sports betting and horse betting are allowed.
With the latest move, ACMA has said that it has successfully blocked 642 illegal gambling sites, having started three years ago in November 2019. Not only that, but ACMA’s determination to ensure that Australian customers are not targeted by such illicit third parties has led to an exodus of brands that decided to leave voluntarily.
Some 180 websites have ceased operating in Australia as a result, fearing that ACMA will begin a global chase and place complaints with regulators in other jurisdictions. The companies that still seek to target Australian customers, however, are not too worried about withdrawing any time soon, as they operate offshore and hardly hold any licenses in regulated markets such as the United States or the United Kingdom for example.
However, regulation is increasing globally which means that even offshore hubs are now under more scrutiny and pressure to make sure that any licensees they have are not breaching laws. ACMA’s voice has been heard as the company has reprimanded broadcasters over advertisement shortcomings.
The regulator has sent a clear signal to anyone who thinks about targeting Australian citizens – leave now. In October, the regulator suspended two more gambling brands, and specifically Las Atlantis and Cloudbet. In September, the regulator took action against 15 offshore gambling websites, one of its biggest enforcement decisions to date.
Image credit: Unsplash.com