ACMA bans illegal casino-style website

·1-min read

An illegal gambling website that has taken tens of millions of Australians' dollars will be blocked after intervention from the communications watchdog.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has requested thepokies.net be banned by internet service providers, with data showing some 30,000 Australians visit the site each month.

The site operates online casino games, which are illegal in Australia.

ACMA chairwoman Nerida O'Loughlin said it was the most impactful illegal gambling site her organisation had blocked out of more than 500.

"We have received more complaints about thepokies.net this year than any other illegal gambling website, and it is clearly doing a lot of harm to the Australian community," she said.

"Complaints have ranged from people who have lost significant amounts of money, through to the site refusing to honour deposits and winnings."

Ms O'Loughlin said illegal gambling sites do not carry the customer protections licensed services do, meaning there is "nothing you can do about it" if a site keeps your money.

More than 160 illegal services have left the Australian market since ACMA began enforcing stronger offshore gambling rules five years ago.

ACMA has also requested bans for a further eight illegal gambling sites.

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