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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has ramped up efforts to block illegal gambling websites with IP blocking orders against six operators.

The sites were found to be operating in breach of Australia’s 2001 Interactive Gambling Act.

The latest blocked sites are: Pokie Surf, 24 Casino, Stellar Spins, Olympia Casino Rock n Reels and Boomerang Casino.

The websites are either licensed in Curaçao or operate without a licence.

Website blocking is one of a range of enforcement options available to ACMA to protect Australians against illegal online gambling.

IP blocking drive

In November, ACMA moved to shut down several Curaçao-licensed crypto casinos.

Since the authority’s first blocking request in November 2019, a total of 686 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked.

Over 190 illegal services have also pulled out of the Australian market since the authority started enforcing its illegal offshore gambling rules.

“The ACMA is reminding consumers that even if a service looks legitimate, it’s unlikely to have important customer protections. 

“This means Australians who use illegal gambling services risk losing their money,” the authority said.

Strong message

Last summer, the authority issued one of its most “significant” IP blocking orders against the website thepokies.net.

ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin (pictured) commented at the time that the authority had received more complaints about the website than about any other operator.

“Complaints have ranged from people who have lost significant amounts of money through to the site refusing to honour deposits and winnings.

“By blocking access to sites like this we are sending a strong message that the ACMA can and will take action to stop illegal operators from targeting Australians,” O’Loughlin had said.

Other regulators, including Germany’s Gambling Supervision Authority (GGL), have faced challenges in IP blocking.

First, several ISPs have refused to follow the GGL’s informal blocking orders, and in January a court ruled that there was no legal basis for the IP blocking orders issued by GGL against Lottoland Group.