Australian ISPs To Block Illegal Operators

Tia Winter | 12 November 2019

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has supposedly had its fill of frustrations and is now flexing its authoritative muscles to maximum capacity by rolling out a process whereby the country’s local internet service providers (ISPs) will be instructed to block all foreign gambling sites.

In fact, the ACMA was already granted special leave to authorise the blocking of illegal offshore gambling sites offering games and sports betting services to Aussies back in 2017 but was in many ways a dog without much bite until as recently as November last year when the country at long last launched the much-anticipated National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering. The framework makes provision for the imposing of actual civil penalties on offending operators.

Nation-Wide Slam Down

Unauthorised bookies will now be stopped short in their sneaky tracks too as these will no longer be in a position to offer credit lines to punters. A favourite loophole allowing for the telephonic wagering of live in-game bets has also been tied and closed.

According to ACMA chairperson Nerida O’Loughlin, the latest steps aren’t being employed in order to simply prevent anyone from having fun but will protect consumers from the dirty tricks played by rogue operators. O’Loughlin used the fact that many foreign operators refuse to release significant winnings to offshore players as an example of what these tricks would look like in the real world. Continued O’Loughlin, some Australian players have even reported situations of foreign operators having continued to illegally deduct funds from their personal bank accounts without having had the necessary permission or authority from the player in question.

Players Warned To Be Vigilant

The ACMA has furthermore issued a warning to players to withdraw all funds deposited with operators whose names do not appear on the organisation’s list of approved and legal operators and moreover to do so before the sites in question are blocked by local ISPs, so as to ensure that funds are returned to players at all.

Players are also urged to verify all operators claiming to be licensed in Australia by comparing their details to the details appearing on the ACMA’s list of registered operators. The organisation said that players are often tricked into thinking that a particular site is locally stationed because of rogue operators making use of native Australian symbols and animals on their websites in an obvious attempt to fool players into thinking that they are in fact licensed to offer games and services in the country.