The ACMA, for the first time, has asked Australian internet service providers (ISPs) to block these affiliate advertising websites, which masquerade as independent reviewers of gambling services.
ACMA says blocking these sites is a priority as they provide direct links to illegal gambling services. ACMA notes that these websites also earn commission as they provide gambling services with web traffic.
ACMA asked ISPs to block the following:
Aussie Casino Hex
Australia OK Casinos
Aussie Online Pokies
Australian Casino Club
True Blue Casinos
ACMA authority member Fiona Cameron says this is the next step in disrupting the major illegal operators and minimising harm to Australian consumers.
“These marketing sites can push you to illegal gambling services that do not have the protections that go with licensed and regulated services,” Cameron warns. “We often get complaints from consumers that winnings are not honoured and that incentives and pressure tactics target problem gamblers."
ACMA says illegal online gambling services include online casinos that offer slots, roulette or poker games for money.
In 2017, ACMA blocked 279 illegal gambling websites, 144 services departing Australia altogether, and reduced 95% traffic to the top ten gambling websites (based on Similarweb data). These significant activities, says ACMA, were in compliance with the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.
"ACMA has information available to help you and is actively pursuing illegal gambling sites and their affiliates to get them out of Australia," Cameron says.
A list of illegal gambling sites that have been blocked is available on the ACMA website. The ACMA is focusing on gambling affiliate sites as a 2021–22 compliance priority, after a focus in 2020–21 on online casinos targeting Australians.
More information about online gambling is available on the ACMA’s website, including a register of licensed interactive wagering services to check legal services in Australia, information on how to protect yourself from illegal gambling operators, and instructions on how make a complaint about an illegal site.