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Australia Adds 8 Gambling Sites to BLACKLIST

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The Australian government has been quite serious in its attempts to block what it deems as illegal offshore gambling platforms. Ever since it passed the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill in August of 2017, various measures have been brought in to stop these sites from being able to offer their services to Australian gamblers.

The latest move from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has seen it make an announcement on banning eight more gambling sites from providing their services to Australian players. In the Aug. 18 announcement, the government once again urged any people with accounts at the sites to withdraw money as quickly as possible to ensure it isn’t lost.

ACMA Blocks 8 Gambling Sites

More About the Sites to Be Blocked

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According to the ACMA, it had received various complaints about the eight sites, including issues with poor player treatment and the withholding of winnings. The sites to be blocked from offering their services in the Australian gaming market are:

  • Planet 7 Oz
  • Ace Pokies
  • Nordicasino
  • Reeltastic
  • Spintropolis
  • Enzo Casino
  • Times Square Casino
  • Royal Spinz

The blocking occurs at the ISP level, meaning that consumers who visit domains operated by one of the proscribed firms will not be able to access the contents of those sites. Instead, they will see a message informing them of the block along with links to more information.

With these offshore gambling sites being added to the collection of platforms no longer providing their services to Australia, there will be at least 100 blacklisted domains, and more than 100 supposedly illegal operations have now pulled out of the country. And it doesn’t look like the ACMA will be halting activity in this area any time soon because it sees the utilization of ISPs for blocking as a valuable opportunity to alert the public about what it considers to be illegal gambling services.

Back to Where It All Began

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As noted, 2017 saw the introduction of the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill in Australia, which addressed supposed illegal offshore gambling operators. Through it, betting firms that are not licensed by a respectable and competent Australian regulatory body cannot operate within the country. Any company found to be violating these rules can also be fined up to AU$7.9 million (US$5.7 million) per day.

Australian Communications and Media AuthorityThe ACMA Is Tasked With Policing Australian Online Gaming

Australia doesn’t have any sort of licensing framework in place for options like online poker, casino games, or bingo. So effectively, those activities were outlawed from the country. Furthermore, the ACMA was pretty much provided sweeping powers by the government to take down any company that it observes engaging in supposedly illegal gambling. That power, which included threatening legal action and liaising with international regulatory bodies, was something that the ACMA swiftly took advantage of, and various companies ceased operating within Australia’s borders. These included:

While a report from the ACMA one year after the introduction of the gambling amendment stated that it was happy with its actions and results so far, some people weren’t as thankful.

The Australian Online Poker Alliance, for example, was very skeptical of the narrative brought forth by the ACMA. It was outrightly opposed to the gambling amendment bill coming into effect in the first place. Joseph Del Duca, founder of the AOPA, said that even though various operations had pulled out of Australia, they had simply been replaced by far inferior, riskier platforms.

Powers Exerted Over ISPs

The ACMA saw that while its actions taken against the gambling industry had been somewhat successful, it wanted to do more to tackle supposedly illegal offshore sites. This was when it opted to use its powers to pretty much take control of the country’s Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Opting to utilize section 313 of the Telecommunications Act, which saw it command ISPs to block access to any offshore gambling sites it viewed as illegal. These new powers were brought into effect on Nov. 11, 2019, and it didn’t take long for a collection of sites to be banned in this way by the ACMA.

Initially, only a couple of sites were blocked through this partnering with ISPs, but the list didn’t take long to grow. In January 2020, the ACMA announced that it had blocked a further 9 offshore gambling sites, including:

  • roocasino.com
  • gwcasino.com
  • wagerbeat.com
  • joefortune.com
  • ignitioncasino.eu
  • casinodingo.com
  • auslots.com

The ACMA also noted that it had received 79 complaints regarding the sites it had opted to block. The government simply advised these players to withdraw any money they may have had at any of the platforms before it was too late.

Website Blocking Only Partially Effective

Though the ACMA talks a big game, its blocking procedures are not by any means airtight. Many operators and players have reported being able to successfully circumvent them and continue playing. These strategies for eluding the ACMA's restrictions often involve the use of alternate domains or DNS servers.

Ignition Poker, to take one example, has multiple domains on the list of proscribed sites. However, there's nothing preventing it from establishing new domains whenever one of its web properties is interfered with. This is just what it has done to the consternation of the authorities, and Australian customers are able to successfully play poker.

Where to Play in Australia Now

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It’s true that Australia’s government has shut down various operations already, and several others have opted to leave the country’s market of their own accord. However, some services remain accessible to players. Ignition Casino, despite being targeted, remains committed to serving its Australian users, and it's still possible for you to play. Check out this fact-laden Ignition Casino Poker review to learn how to sign up and claim a poker welcome bonus of up to $1,500 as well as another $1,500 for casino games.

If you're interested in other upstanding Aussie-friendly internet poker sites, we recommend that you visit this page about the best online poker sites for Australian players to locate a great poker site.