The powers of the communications watchdog for Australia are reportedly getting a serious upgrade that will allow it to battle the scourge of unscrupulous online gambling websites, via the use of local banning orders.
In a Monday story from The Guardian newspaper that referred to an earlier report from the Australian Associated Press news service, Australians regularly spend close to $280 million every year with foreign online gambling operators but often have trouble when attempting to recoup winnings and deposits.
The newspaper detailed how the improved powers due to be given to the Australian Communications and Media Authority would satisfy only one of three legislative recommendations that emerged following a 2015 nationwide review into interactive gambling. This evaluation was allegedly led by the former Premier of New South Wales, Barry O’Farrell, and contained 19 specific proposals on how the nation could more effectively combat predatory online gaming operators.
The Guardian reported that the Australian Communications and Media Authority will soon have the ability to conduct investigations into suspicious offshore online casino and sports betting sites and order local Internet service providers to block access if appropriate enforcement actions are not possible.
A welcome endowment
Nerida O’Loughlin, Chair for the Australian Communications and Media Authority, reportedly advised the news service that the improved powers are a vital tool in the quest to dismantle the presence of illicit online gambling as there is now ‘little to no recourse for consumers engaging with these unscrupulous operators’.
Apparently, some 65 illegal iGaming operators have ceased offering their services to gamblers in Australia since O’Loughlin’s organization began implementing a range of new enforcement rules in 2017.
A worthwhile fight
Paul Fletcher, Australia’s Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, revealed that offshore online gambling operations account for approximately $69 million in lost tax revenues annually and players often falling victim to fraud with these sites as opposed to legal online casinos, typically containing ‘very few if any, harm-minimization controls.’