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ACMA Targets 18 Illegal Sites in 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup



ACMA Cracks Down on 18 Illegal Gambling Sites During the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Enhancing Integrity in Sports Betting—In a significant regulatory move, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has identified 18 unregulated gambling websites operating illegally during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This proactive investigation underscores ACMA’s commitment to safeguarding the integrity of sports betting in Australia, particularly during high-profile events like the World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand for the first time. The findings highlight ongoing challenges and the regulator’s stringent efforts to curb illegal online gambling activities that target Australian residents.

Background of the Investigation

During the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup from July 20 to August 20, ACMA intensified its scrutiny of online gambling activities, leading to a comprehensive review of 200 offshore gambling brands. This review was part of a broader strategy to protect Australian consumers from the risks associated with unregulated gambling services. Of these, 21 brands were put under detailed investigation for activities that seemed to directly target Australians, contravening the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

ACMA’s Findings and Actions

The investigation led to the identification of 18 services found in breach of national gambling regulations. Notably, three of these operators chose to voluntarily exit the Australian market following the ACMA’s findings, demonstrating the impact of regulatory pressure. For the remaining 15, the ACMA escalated its response by requesting internet service providers to block access to these sites, effectively cutting off their operations within Australia.

The Nature of Illegal Gambling Activities

ACMA authority member and online gambling lead, Carolyn Lidgerwood, emphasized the predatory nature of these illegal sites. Many were unlicensed to provide wagering services in Australia and engaged in offering prohibited interactive gambling services like online casinos, slots, and in-play betting. Lidgerwood highlighted the risks associated with these platforms: “Illegal gambling operations often take advantage of high-profile sporting events to push their services onto fans. These sites also offer none of the consumer protections that apply to licensed wagering services in Australia. Using these sites is more than a gamble as you have no rights and even if you win, you may never see the money.”


Broader Impact of ACMA’s Regulatory Efforts

Since 2019, ACMA has been actively working with internet service providers to block gambling websites found in violation of Australian laws. Over this period, the authority has successfully blocked more than 900 illegal gambling and affiliate websites, significantly disrupting the accessibility of unregulated gambling services to Australian users. Additionally, the regulator noted that more than 220 illegal services have withdrawn from the Australian market since the enforcement of these rules began, reflecting the effectiveness of ACMA’s regulatory measures.

Conclusion: Strengthening Gambling Regulation

The ACMA’s vigilant actions during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup represent a crucial step in strengthening gambling regulation in Australia. By actively identifying and mitigating illegal gambling activities, ACMA not only protects Australian consumers but also maintains the integrity of sports betting during internationally significant events. These efforts are vital in ensuring that gambling in Australia remains safe, regulated, and fair, providing a model for how regulators worldwide can combat illegal online gambling.

Stay Informed and Engaged

For stakeholders in the gambling industry, policymakers, and sports enthusiasts, staying informed about developments in gambling regulation is essential. Understanding the dynamics of regulatory responses like ACMA’s can provide critical insights into the global efforts to maintain fair and safe gambling environments. As the landscape of online gambling continues to evolve, engaging with and supporting these regulatory measures is key to promoting responsible gambling practices worldwide.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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