The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is currently investigating some sports betting sites using the Cocos (Keeling) Island domain.
The gambling websites have been tracked to be located in the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. This is a breach of the Australian Interactive Gambling Act (IGA). According to the IGA, offshore gambling websites are not allowed to offer in-play sports betting to Australian gamblers. An international sports betting site has to obtain a local licence.
Another part of the IGA says that if an online gambling site uses a domain of an Australian territory without being registered in the Australian jurisdiction, it is an offence. As a result, the identified and investigated online betting sites are in breach of the Act.
According to the ABC report, the AMCA has identified InBet and Planetofbets websites using the Cocos (Keeling) Island domain. This means that their web address has the .cc. These sites also offer live betting wagers on Australian sports such as the Big V Basketball, the ACT’s peak soccer competition and the Super Netball.
It was also revealed that the sites offer the option to make wagers using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Etherium and Dogecoin. The Australian government has banned the use of cryptocurrency for online gambling.
The AMCA spokesman said, the media watchdog only decides to investigate an online gambling site if the services they are offering are unlicensed or if it has an Australian-customer link.
A Monash University gambling law, Dr Charles Livingstone, said the IGA aims to protect Australians from the gambling sites that are not regulated. He also went on to say that it also wants to prevent the availability of non-wagering gambling online.
According to Andrew Wilkie, Independent Federal MP, an immediate action to close down the websites is what needs to be done. The sites are offering services that are illegal according to the Australian law, he said.