The Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) was planning to block the gaming domains that are not authorized in Australia since last year. The words spread like wildfire last year and it was believed that the Internet Service Providers (ISP) have agreed to cooperate to implement the plan as well. Now, the ACMA has confirmed that it was indeed planning for such an action and now it is the time to implement it. The authority said that with the power of Section 313(3) of the Telecommunication Act, the Australian Government can disrupt any illegal online services by simply blocking them. ACMA also confirmed that as per the law the ISPs need to cooperate and coordinate with the government on the same.
The Australian punters now soon found themselves with lesser digital options for online gambling as the government starts the crackdown. All the internationally authorized online gambling domains that do not have adequate Australian authorization would be blocked. So, when the gamblers would reach for these sites in the future, they would hit a ‘Sorry Page’. It would also inform the gamblers that the site does not have the authorization of the Australian Authorities.
However, in a big relief to the online sites who want to get authorized with the authorities in Australia, the status would be periodically reviewed. So, whenever a site gets authorized, they would be unblocked or would be removed from the list of ‘disrupted services’.
In 2017, Australia implemented the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001. The online gambling apart from Sports Betting was prohibited in the country. The government also emphasized the local authorization and vowed to target any operator who isn’t.
Nerida O’Loughlin, the ACMA Chairman, spoke about the litany of the International Gambling Sites. He said that most of the gambling sites do not pay significant winnings and sometimes pay only a small amount of money. He also warned the local gamblers and said that if they have funds deposited with the international gambling sites, then they should withdraw it as soon as possible.
Paul Fletcher, the Communication Minister of Australia looked more realistic, however. He said that even though it is not a silver bullet but the authorities need to take action. He clarified that ACMA might block one site for now and then follow the practice as a responding action of the complaints from thereon.
ACMA, however, had a different approach and viewpoint last year. In November, ACMA said that the regulatory acts have forced many International Gambling Operators to quit the Australian market. It also claimed that the volume of the business in Australia sent to these sites by gamblers may decline by 50%. However, analysts refuted the claim of the ACMA and said that the decline would be in a single digit.