Australian casino regulator shuts down one of the most significant online casinos running illegally in the country according to a regulatory press-release. The ACMA has issued a request to the local internet providers operating in the vicinity to block access to a known bad actor. The Australian casino regulator has been monitoring the fraudulent entity for a long while already, and has accounted for more than $10 million in illegal cash deposits made to the company. It remains an unresolved case and authorities are actively working to shut down to the platform and apprehend the perpetrators.
The site in question goes under the label Pokies, and was one of the most widely used betting platforms without a license operating in Australia. The publicly available data from the report showed that over 30,000 Australians were actively using the site before the ACMA stepped in to shut it down. Illegally operating outside the remit of the regular regulatory protocols, Pokies has operated with complete impunity and did not pay any mind or respect to the practices imposed by the industry. All of this is to protect the end consumer, and news of the ban has been welcomed across the board.
According the report released by the ACMA, the Pokies platform offered a wide range of different gaming opportunities. There was an abundance of alternative gaming options placed to the users, with casino style games making up the largest proportion of the offerings. Online poker is of course the main remit of the platform, but other derivative games based on the outcome of the classic card game were also made available to the user base.
It is nothing new for the ACMA to request to the internet service providers to block an unregulated and unlicensed betting site, in fact the committee has already made over 500 such requests in recent years. But the think with Pokies, it became one of the largest sites used for gambling in Australia, surpassing many legally abiding platforms. The result of this scale put incredible pressure on the authorities to act, and shut down a major platform that potentially was causing severe harm to the community.
Pokies Breaks Record for Amount of Complaints Submitted
It became very clear early this year that Pokies was a website operating far outside the standard practices expected from an operator in the space. The Australian community had already begun to show how concerned they were with the product that had been occupying large swathes of the domestic betting market for several months. The website was clearly harming the community of gamblers in Australia in a big way, and this has reached a tipping point.
The insidious nature of unregulated gambling sites has been laid to bare in recent months as horror stories of defrauded users have been made publicly available. Complaints have been filed from customers who accuse Pokies of failing to honour deposit and withdrawal requests, leading to significant losses on the part of unsuspecting customers. The practice of refusing to honour withdrawals is a terrible crime that would never be committed by an operator beholden to the license it operates under.
By taking decisive action to stop sites like these permeating through the Australian consumer market, the ACMA have shown that they will not be strong armed into allowing any and all types of regulator to exist within their markets. The ACMA has proven itself to be an adequate and consummate protector of consumers in the market. Being able to remove and block operators that are clearly causing a great deal of harm to the regular consumer in Australia.
According to data obtained into the shutdown activities of the ACMA, over 160 illegal betting sites have been taken out of the Australian internet domain name service directory since the new gambling laws of 2017 came into effect.
This is quite an impressive haul and goes a great way to protecting the consumers of gambling products in Australia. Ultimately, gamblers are advised to only use betting sites that do operate within the confines of licenses, because if one of these operators does decide they aren’t going to pay-out and keeps the money, there is quite literally nothing you can do about it.
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