ACMA issues first directions for ISPs to block online gambling sites

Two sites targeted by ACMA

Credit: Dreamstime

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued its first directions to Internet service providers (ISPs) to block their subscribers from accessing unauthorised offshore sites.

The government earlier this month said that the ACMA would begin using provisions of the Telecommunications Act to block access to unauthorised offshore gambling services. The ACMA today revealed it had issued notices to ISPs under Section 313(3) of the act, directing the telcos to take steps to prevent their customers from accessing ‘Emu Casino’ and ‘Fair Go Casino’.

Section 313(3) has previously been employed to block access to child abuse material, tackle online fraud and prevent the spread of malware. The government in mid-2017 released guidelines for the use of the power by Commonwealth agencies, following an incident where a notice issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) saw hundreds of thousands of sites erroneously blocked.

The ACMA said that the two sites it was targeting offered casino-style games, which are prohibited by the Interactive Gambling Act.

“Emu Casino and Fair Go Casino are illegal sites that target Australians, and between the two we have received more than 50 complaints about their conduct,” the ACMA’s chair, Nerida O’Loughlin, said in a statement.

“They’re happy to take your money when you lose, but people have reported to us that they refuse to pay out winnings.

“If you have funds deposited with these—or any other an illegal offshore gambling site—you should withdraw those funds now.”

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Tags TelecommunicationsAustralian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)section 313

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