ThePokies.Net Targeted in Australia’s Illegal Gambling Crackdown

Posted on: June 17, 2022, 01:39h.

Last update: June 17, 2022, 01:39 a.m.

Australia’s communications regulator, ACMA, has ordered internet service providers to block online casino ThePokies.net after data showed it attracted 30,000 Australians each month. The regulator said it had received reports from customers who claimed they were not receiving their winnings or that the site was withholding deposits.

slot machines
Partial screenshot of ThePokies.net, which was still accessible from Australia under a modified URL, despite ISP blocking efforts. (Image: thePokies.net)

Online casino type gambling is illegal in Australia, which only allows sports betting on the internet.

This is because it already has enough living variety. In 2017, there were 187,000 slot machines, or “pokies”, in pubs and clubs across the country. This represents 76% of global slots stationed in non-gaming locations. Australia has 0.3% of the world’s population, but 18% of its slot machines. This has contributed to high levels of problem gambling in the country.

Change blame

ThePokies.net is licensed in Curacao, a jurisdiction where regulatory oversight is almost non-existent. This gives customers little recourse to recover their funds if they believe they have been improperly withheld.

The site’s terms and conditions state that players can only participate in its games if “you are from countries and geographic regions where online gambling is permitted by law.”

But the casino makes sure to transfer the responsibility from the operator to the player.

You are solely responsible for determining whether your access to the Website complies with applicable gambling laws in your region of residence,” states ThePokies.Net.

In its “Frequently Asked Questions” under “Can I use a VPN to bypass region-blocked games?” » the operator responds:

“Yes you can! Unlike our competitors, we believe it is your right as a player to have access to the latest games and providers and if they have blocked access to your regions, we find that there is no harm in using a VPN to circumvent these blocks, which is what sets us apart from most casinos.

Fine Ineffective Threat

Online casinos can face a $1.1 million fine for offering their services to Australia, but in most cases the owners are untraceable and beyond the reach of government regulators.

“We’ve had more complaints about thepokies.net this year than any other illegal gambling site, and it’s clearly hurting the Australian community a great deal,” ACMA President Nerida O’Loughlin said in a statement. communicated.

Complaints range from people losing large sums to the site’s refusal to honor deposits and winnings,” she added.

Australia has blocked online casinos since 2019, but operators are generally able to resurface with altered URLs, meaning regulators are engaged in an eternal game of whack-a-mole.

Australian visitors to ThePokies.net are currently automatically redirected to a mirror site, ThePokies11.net.


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