According to Australia’s ABC News, residents there are being attacked by at least one online casino via Facebook, despite the operator having been formally warned not to do business there.
Australians can gamble wherever they choose without fear of criminal penalties, but operators who are not licensed there can face severe civil and criminal penalties. Since the law was changed to codify such penalties, no licenses have been issued to online casinos.
A few years ago, Facebook changed its policy, which did not allow any company to advertise online gambling services on its platform, to allow “authorized gambling partners”. In order for a company to qualify as an “association”, it is said to be required prove that your advertising is legal in the target market.
BTC Casino finds ways to reach Australian customers
The online gaming site behind the controversy is bitstarzone of the first and most successful BTC casinos on-line. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) discovered in 2021 that BitStarz was providing a “prohibited interactive gaming service” to Australians, and the authority issued a formal warning to the company.
Then the Gambling Act 2001 was enacted Proceedings in 2017ACMA has blocked over 700 websites from appearing on the internet to residents with Australian IP addresses.
For some background information that advertisers Facebook users have access to a management system that allows them to create a variety of metrics to target ads to very specific user groups, including specific regions. To stem the tide of misinformation targeting specific users, viewers can request information about “Why am I seeing this?” to sue. and one of the metrics identified by the news outlet was a direct target of viewers in Australia.
According to the report, the ads also included images of the Australian flag: “leaves little doubt as to the intended audience.”.
Professor Daniel Angus from Queensland University of Technology is Principal Investigator for the Australian Ad Observatory – a project run by nine Australian universities.
“Meta has a lot more to do here.” says Professor Angus. “There are a number of civil society organisations, universities and other, indeed regulators, who would be willing to help you find stronger protections… to ensure these types of announcements are not made public.”
“If I were a regulator, I would certainly ask Meta [Facebook] detailed information – that they would have – about who viewed that information and where those users were located.”
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is a partner in the Ad Observatory project and the Australian national broadcaster. It is funded by direct government grants and administered by a government-appointed board.
Is Facebook really breaking Australian law?
In most countries, including Australia, the US and other major markets, Facebook enjoys certain potential immunities from prosecution or other liability because it is viewed as a “idea platform” rather than a publisher. So while it appears that Bitstarz is in direct violation of Australian law, it’s much harder to determine whether or not Facebook is doing the same.
Whilst it would clearly be illegal for a radio or television company in Australia to broadcast such advertising, “There is a small loophole in the law when it comes to foreign-based digital media platforms in the US.”said Professor Christine Parker of the University of Melbourne Law School, a participant in the Australian Ad Observatory.
dr Charles Livingstone, gambling researcher at Monash University, argues: “If ACMA doesn’t have the power to block or remove these ads, then I think we need to give them that power.”according to the report.
Most national regulators that block residents from accessing “illegal websites” often use others deterrent tools, as France refuses Online casinos will be prosecuted by search engines like Google or even financial services providers if they step in deposits or withdrawals. Australia is also one of the few outside the Muslim world that doesn’t have a monopoly or positive revenue benefits through taxes or other financial incentives to keep residents away from unlicensed websites and state-sanctioned casinos.
Australians don’t need much imagination or skill to sidestep the simple ISP blocking, especially when an operator like Bitstarz runs at least 8 website URLs that “mirror” the main page. In a report to the ACMA and French regulators earlier this week, we counted at least three carriers in the French market, each with around 50 different iterations.
In markets with particularly severe penalties, where the trader could be prosecuted if caught, we have seen “spinning mirrors” with only a dozen or so addresses from several dozen more active ones at any given time, giving regulators a cat-and-catch -Represents mouse hunting You are more likely to visit a “dead” website than an “active” one at any time of the day.
“Some illegal online gambling services are attempting to circumvent the ban by creating alternative websites, but the ACMA continues to monitor and take action against such websites.”an ACMA spokesman told ABC.
Offshore casinos can operate with impunity
While regulators aren’t shy about issuing official warnings or using some of the tools at their disposal to stop Australians from gambling on unauthorized sites, not even potential criminal or civil penalties of up to AUD$10.3 million seem offshore -Disabling companies are beyond the reach of local prosecutors.
According to ABC, the parent company of bitstarz, licensed in Curaçao, has received 48 formal warnings from the ACMA for violating the Interactive Gaming Act. According to a partner website, the company previously operates up to 70 different top labels, white labels, or online stores, and that number is before URL variations, obfuscated iterations, or replicas are counted.
An inquiry into online gambling is currently being carried out by Parliament and is expected to be completed and presented later this year. A focus of the investigation will reportedly be the effectiveness of Australia’s current efforts to keep residents away from unlicensed gambling websites.
Spring: Offshore online casinos illegally target Australians on Facebook. who is responsible? The ABC, March 21, 2023