The Australian Communications and Media Authority has, for the first time, asked Australian internet service providers to block a selection of affiliate advertising websites.

The independent Commonwealth statutory authority says that it has made the move as it steps up its efforts to combat illegal online gambling “by blocking websites that promote and drive traffic toward online casino type services”.

Blocking such sites is labelled as a “priority” by the ACMA, as they “ provide direct links to illegal gambling services, often receiving a commission for providing them with web traffic”.

Sites included in the recommendation are Aussie Casino Hex, Australia OK Casinos, Aussie Online Pokies, Pokies, Australian Casino Club, Australian Gambling, and True Blue Casinos.

Fiona Cameron, ACMA Authority member, said this is the next step in disrupting the major illegal operators and minimising harm to Australian consumers.

“These marketing sites can push you to illegal gambling services that do not have the protections that go with licensed and regulated services,” she said.

“We often get complaints from consumers that winnings are not honoured and that incentives and pressure tactics target problem gamblers.”

This latest action builds upon a wave of activity taken since the ACMA saw its responsibilities expanded under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 in 2017.

Results include 279 illegal gambling websites being blocked, 144 services departing Australia altogether, and a 95 per cent reduction in traffic to the top ten gambling websites blocked to June 2021.

“ACMA has information available to help you and is actively pursuing illegal gambling sites and their affiliates to get them out of Australia,” Cameron added.