ACMA Crackdown Continues as Gambling Websites Are Taken Down

The Australian Communications and Media Agency has taken further action against illegal betting sites, blacklisting several popular gambling platforms in the last week. This development paralleled the government’s recent legislative updates where they declared unregulated websites illegal across the country. All of these websites were found to have violated the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, with numerous incidents alerting the authorities to suspicious activities.

Sydney Opera House at night

Australia has taken the initiative to crackdown on unregulated gambling sites with fears of stolen user information, and other security concerns.
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The initial investigation period lasted four months before action was taken. The ACMA was prompted to investigate certain websites after receiving several complaints from citizens and other governmental departments. In hindsight, the previous legislation was far too lax, providing almost no security reassurance to these websites’ users. Now any platform that doesn’t uphold industry-standard requirements will be officially terminated.

The ten illegal websites that won’t be named are among the most searched for betting sites in all of Australia. The governments’ initial concern was private information of the website’s users leaking onto the internet. With a much sharper focus on platform security, it seems that unregulated sites will soon be a thing of the past.

The AMCA was granted new powers to deal with this situation effectively; previously, they could not prosecute private companies without sufficient evidence against them. Now that the threshold was lowered, they are free to investigate suspicious activity relating to Australia’s betting websites. The AMCA were previously ruthless in their attempts to crack down on illicit gambling sites.

Since September 2019, the number of blocked gambling sites has risen to 247, according to the Australian Internet Service Provider (AISP). Since the first request, the incident has received plenty of media and public attention, effectively informing unaware users of unregulated betting sites’ dangers.

AMCA Raise Their Game

Before the process acceleration of the last two years, the AMCA had little to do with online gambling regulation; previously, they focused on other areas of the net such as data protection and social media privacy. Now the Australian government has realigned their focus to increasing surveillance on gambling activity. Betting rates have increased exponentially over the last few years in Australia, and officials are keen to curb this latest’ outbreak’.

They are now officially partnered with the AISP, the technical head to their socially responsible conquest. The AISP initially spearheaded this investigation before their merger with the ACMA. They believe with this line of action, preventing a wave of falsehood sprouting from the online gambling community, a scene that privacy issues have plagued in the past. The AMCA carries out the research and investigations while the AISP takes the definitive action to remove illicit websites from the internet.

The partnership of these two departments makes for one powerful legislative hammer that can come down at any moment. However, with great power comes great responsibility, and the AMCA have received their fair share of backlash from media and gambling websites for misinformed decisions they made. They have garnered a distinct reputation from gambling platforms in Australia, their ruthlessness proceeds them, and firms are scared into complying with the regulations.

Offshore gambling has received special attention from the ACMA as it is highly illegal in Australia. The lengths they have gone to restricting hundreds of international websites for Australian users’ safety, the restructuring of social casinos, all of which has benefited the established betting ecosystem’s security.

How will the AMCA Continue into the Future?

It appears that the AMCA is destined to continue this crackdown against illegal betting websites. Their counter-crusade has meant the demise of hundreds of platforms in the country. However, they have successfully aligned themselves on the public’s side, continuously updating the media with messages of warning and perseverance.

Unregulated sites are a huge problem for the gambling industry around the world. While many countries choose to sit back and leave the issue to fester, Australia has decided to take abrasive action against all websites they deem unsuitable for use. They are also leading the world in research on gambling’s psychological effects alongside New Zealand and Canada. The United Kingdom was recently criticized for its lack of urgency to address gambling in video games, which has become an international concern.

One thing is for sure, Australian gamblers can feel safe and secure online while betting with legitimate and ethically sound websites. They have set a very large precedent; they now wish for the rest of the world to follow and commit to eradicating unregulated betting sites from the internet in an effort to protect gamblers around the world.

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