The Australian Media Police, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), has been taking action against illegal gambling sites targeting Aussies for the past few years. Their motto is no license, no entry, and a number of websites have been blocked, although the exact numbers are somewhat uncertain. The latest attempt to clean up Australia's online gaming segment comes after ACMA discovered 18 new illegal websites that are now expected to be blocked by the country's Internet Service Providers (ISP).
To date, according to ACMA, 222 offshore locations have been prevented from crossing Australia's virtual borders since the agency began its efforts nine years ago. If an offshore location is determined to be targeting Australians, the ACMA sends a request to ISPs to have them deny access to the locations in question. The company describes these banning requirements as just "one of several enforcement options" available to it, adding that it is an excellent way to "alert the public to illegal gambling services through the messages that appear in an attempt." make access to the site. "In addition to those the ACMA has blocked, more than 100 have voluntarily withdrawn from the Australian market, according to the agency.
The last group to be added to the black list consists of the Syndicate Casino, the 7-Bit-Casino, the Casino Nic, the Fast Pay Casino, iLucki, the King Billy Casino, the Woo Casino, BitStarz, the Loki Casino, the Golden Star Casino, Gunsbet, Spinago and the Joo Casino, Bet Chain Get Slots, Joka VIP Room, King Johnnie and Wild Card City. The AMCA adds in its statement that if ISPs block access (assuming gamers haven't found a workaround), users of any of these sites should withdraw their money now or be left untouchable.
The Telecommunications Act of 1997 and the subsequent Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 (IGA) gave ACMA extensive powers to control what it considers to be unlawful web activity. Through this legislation, it may request ISPs to remove gambling websites that engage in activities for which they are not licensed, including offering prohibited interactive gambling services, providing gambling services without a license in the country, or posting advertisements for market services, they are not licensed in the country.
Oddly enough, lawmakers in the IGA have gone out of their way to deal with gambling and politics, stating that political advertising related to gambling is fine. Section 61BB of the Legislation states: "(1) For the avoidance of doubt, when:
(a) something (the advertisement) does not advertise and is not intended to promote any particular interactive gambling service or certain interactive gambling services; and
(b) the advertising relates solely to government or political affairs;
The advertisement is not a designated interactive advertisement for gambling services within the meaning of this part. "
On this basis, it appears that politicians can use gambling activities in the background of advertising as long as this is not the focus of the ad.