Alleged Australian Blacklist Names Internet Gambling Operators

20 March 2009
IGamingNews notes the release of an alleged blacklist, in Australia, that would see a number of Internet gambling sites blocked as part of an Internet content filtration initiative currently being pushed by the Australian Labor Party.

According to published reports in the Australian media, the list was allegedly drafted by the country's communications regulator, the Australian Communication and Media Authority.

However, Senator Stephen M. Conroy, a Labor member and current minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy, has called the list a fake and condemned the whistle-blower Web site that leaked it, Wikileaks, as "grossly irresponsible," according to a prepared statement Thursday.

"Under existing laws the ACMA blacklist includes URLs relating to child sexual abuse, rape, incest, bestiality, sexual violence and detailed instruction in crime," Mr. Conroy said. "No-one interested in cyber-safety would condone the leaking of these addresses. I am aware of reports that a list of URLs has been placed on a web site. This is not the ACMA blacklist."

According to the broadband and communications ministry, 125.8 million Australian dollars was committed by the government in May 2008 to, over a four-year period, develop a comprehensive range of "cybersafety measures" -- including filtering by Internet service providers.

Currently, feasibility trials for the content filtration proposal are underway, according to Mr. Conroy's statement Thursday, and a final decision "on the extent" of the proposal will be made once those trials conclude.

Betfair, which holds a license in Tasmania and is one of the companies named on the list, declined comment when contacted by IGamingNews Friday.

IGamingNews is now seeking comment from a number of Australian gaming lawyers. More on these developments to come.

After a non-exhaustive search using keywords like "poker," "bet," and "casino," among the Internet gambling (or Internet-gambling-related) domain names on the list were:

To view the list at Wikileaks, click here.

Chris Krafcik is the editor of IGamingNews. He lives in St. Louis, Mo.