ACMA moves to adding illegal lotteries to target list

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) redoubles its efforts to clean the Australian internet from illegal gambling. After targeting sports betting and online casino sites for over two years now and shutting down access to several prominent affiliates, the watchdog is now tackling illegal offshore lotteries. This is in addition to the five operators stranded in October.

Lotteries hit the ACMA crosshairs

Lotteries enjoyed relative freedom from the regulator, but that has now changed as an ACMA investigation found that We love the lottery and Red fox lotto, two popular lottery sites, target Australians by offering to buy tickets for them in major foreign lotteries.

While the operation may have been legitimate, none of the websites have a recognized license to do so in Australia, leading ACMA to ask Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to suspend access to these sites from the country.

member of ACMA Fiona cameron argued that both websites had operated illegally in the United States and that there was no consumer protection for consumers. She added:

“Blocking illegal offshore sites protects Australians from potentially shady operators where there is little or no recourse if something goes wrong. Lottery services licensed in Australia and operating legally come with important guarantees that consumers have come to expect. “

The ACMA has pushed for tighter control of Australia’s internet space, arguing that illegal websites have thrived in the vacuum left by a lack of offshore regulation. In fiscal year 2020-2021, ACMA was able to block 55 illegal gambling services.

Many operators leave out

As the regulator has stepped up its efforts, some 156 offshore gambling companies have chosen to voluntarily exit the market rather than wait to be blocked by ACMA. The ACMA was empowered by the revision of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 in September 2017, effectively allowing the watchdog to pursue much tougher actions against illegal websites.

Cameron argued that ACMA’s efforts to tackle illegal offshore gambling have paid off and the regulator is happy with the outcome so far. In September, ACMA found Foxtel guilty of breaking gambling advertising rules. There have been lawsuits against gambling sites almost every month, with ACMA not giving in to its end goal, which is to cleanse the country of illegal operators.

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