In a publication, posted on its official website on June 16th, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced that it has requested the Internet service providers (ISPs) to block a dozen illegal gambling websites, the most popular of which is thepokies.net. The latter is believed to generate revenues amounting to “tens of millions of dollars”. Various sources suggest that as many as 30,000 Australians use its services every month.
What made ACMA call for a shutdown of thepokies.net was the fact that the site provides games prohibited by the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.
Nerida O’Loughlin, the ACMA Chair, commented on the matter and said that thepokies.net was one of the websites that cause harm to the population and that's the reason why the authorities requested the ISPs to block the access to it and to hundreds other less popular websites – 777Bay, Betroom, Abo Casino, KatsuBet to name a few.
As for thepokies.net, Ms O’Loughlin added that the ACMA has received a great volume of complaints related to withheld deposits, unpaid winnings ,and “significant losses” and by blocking thepokies, ACMA makes it clear that no compromises will be made when it comes to protecting Australians. Ms. O’Loughlin emphasized that players deposit at illegal gambling websites at their own risk and cannot count on any protection. As a result, unpaid winnings and huge money losses are common issues.
Blocking illegal gambling sites is one of the approaches ACMA has been adopting as of late. The regulator is determined to curb illegal gambling by educating the Australians and encouraging casinos to operate on the regulated market.
At the end of May, ACMA requested the ISPs to block the access to a dozen non-compliant websites including but not limited to Stay Casino, Cobra Casino, Pokies Lab, Bambet, that were all found to breach the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.
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To protect customers, ACMA has published a list of licensed gaming providers on its official website, and everyone can check the credibility of the casino they want to play at.