For years, lawmakers in Australia have looked at better ways to regulate the online gambling industry. One idea proposed by officials was to begin blocking foreign gambling sites caught engaging in illegal activities. This week, Australia is blocking online gambling sites for the first time ever.
This represents a major change to the country’s gambling market. Soon, many gambling websites around the world may find themselves banned in this country. Let’s look at why the government has decided to block these online gambling sites this week.
Lawmakers Continue to Crack Down on Gambling Companies
Australia’s gambling laws are, in some ways, similar to those in the United States. Essentially, each state can set its own laws for both online and land-based gambling. Today, most areas of the country allow traditional gambling.
Despite the lenient laws, lawmakers are continuing to crack down on foreign gambling companies that operate here. Not long ago, the government settled on a case with Lottoland, one of the most popular online gambling operators here. The issue was over Lottoland’s jackpot product, which the government felt was unfair to other gambling companies including Tabcorp, Australia’s main domestic gambling operator.
Tabcorp may still eventually press charges against Lottoland.
Lawmakers settled on the case with Lottoland, yet they’ve continued to push offshore gambling companies away. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has taken strict measures to prevent these websites from targeting Australian players.
Many officials here feel that these companies should begin paying taxes to the government. Some have also voiced concerns about the rise in gambling addiction. This week, the government decided to take action.
Australia is blocking gambling sites for the first time. Will this move be effective?
Australia is Blocking Gambling Sites Using ISP’s
In 2017, the ACMA announced new measures to prevent offshore gambling sites from operating in Australia. This government body began directly targeting management and heads of these gambling companies, even preventing them from entering Australia. Shortly after these regulations were announced, more than 60 offshore gambling operators left the country.
This week, the ACMA made another major announcement. Australia is blocking online gambling sites using internet service providers. ISP’s are now asked to actively block Australians from accessing Emu Casino and Fair Go Casino. Both are said to offer games that are illegal.
Nerida O’Laughlin, chairwoman of the ACMA, commented on the decision to block these websites to the media.
“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,” she said. “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 any illegal offshore gambling site—you should withdraw those funds now.”
The last few words here are important. The ACMA may soon begin blocking even more gambling sites based in other countries.
New Zealand is Looking More at Online Gambling Regulation, As Well
Australia isn’t the only country in Oceania that’s interested in better regulating its online gambling industry. For most of 2019, lawmakers in New Zealand have discussed new ways to improve their internet gambling rules. Here, it’s illegal for any gambling sites base itself in the country. Gambling through foreign sites is still allowed.
Unsurprisingly, many feel these regulations are ineffective. Online gambling is hugely popular in New Zealand yet the government earns no revenue through taxes.
In April, the government announced a new set of gambling ad laws for land-based gambling operators. Just a few months later, New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) proposed legislation to block foreign gambling sites from operating in the country.
Many believe that New Zealand should open and regulate its gambling market for foreign companies. Historically speaking, this has proven to be a more effective strategy.
Australia is blocking gambling sites for the first time ever. Soon, ISP’s may ban all online gambling websites.
Do you think the online gambling laws in Australia are fair? Let us know in the comments section below!
A longtime sports and gambling enthusiast, Kevin looks to present up-to-date and reliable information for readers. If he’s not writing, he’s probably watching MMA or playing blackjack. ...
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