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Online Casinos Australia

Under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (Cth) (Interactive Gambling Act), online casino gaming is officially prohibited in Australia. Please check your local laws before engaging in online or land-based casino play. 

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Online Gambling Laws and Regulations in Australia

Packing up one of the highest gambling rates in the world, Australia is known for having over 80% of the population gamble despite the somewhat complicated, predominantly restrictive gambling and betting laws. In fact, Australia is one of the first countries that has dealt with online casino laws and regulations.

In 2021, the Land Down Under established the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 (IGA), officially prohibiting online gambling in Australia. The law targets online gambling operators with the idea of protecting the general public from the adverse effects of online gambling.

Under the law, it's illegal to:

  • Offer unlicensed iGaming products to Australian customers
  • Offer interactive gambling products to anyone in Australia
  • Offer Australian-based iGaming products to other countries

Further, the law:

  • Prohibits the advertising of interactive gambling services
  • Establishes a complaints-based system to deal with Internet gambling services where the relevant content is available for access by customers in Australia

However, in some situations, a person may seek an 'internet gaming licence' in the Northern Territory and offer their gaming products outside of Australia.

Is Online Gambling Legal in Australia?

If it's provided to someone physically in the country, any game of chance, mixed chance, or skill that's being played over the internet is prohibited under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA).

Gambling authorities are putting a lot of effort into enhancing and amending the existing online gambling laws, determined to provide local players with the conveniences and security they expect from an online casino. 

For now, illegal online gambling activities include:

  • Online Casinos
  • Casino-style games (like roulette, poker, and blackjack)
  • Slots 

In addition:

  • Online bingo is regulated by the State and Territory gambling regulators.
  • Online betting/sports/horse race betting is regulated by the appropriate regulators.
  • Fantasy betting in Australia is handled by corporate bookmakers that carry Northern Territory licenses. For this type of betting, the Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC) and Licensing NT are relevant regulatory bodies.
  • Online lotteries are regulated by appropriate regulators.
  • Social gaming with no monetary prize or money's worth is not generally regulated by gambling regulators but predominantly depends on age and other restrictions.

Only licensed gambling providers are legally allowed to offer online gambling products in Australia to Australians.

Authorities that Regulate Online Gambling in Australia

In Australia, each of the 8 (eight) states handles its regulation as an independent regulatory body rather than having unified regulations being imposed on them by Parliament. 

Here's a list of the organisations that regulate gambling in each location:

  • Australian Capital Territory – ACT Gambling and Racing Commission
  • Northern Territory – Licensing Commission
  • New South Wales – Office of Liquor, Gaming, and Racing
  • South Australia – Independent Gambling Authority
  • Queensland – Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation
  • Tasmania – Tasmanian Gaming Commission
  • Victoria – Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation
  • Western Australia – Department of Racing, Gaming, and Liquor

Additionally, the Australian Communications and Media Authority is the regulator of iGaming advertising in the country. They cover all of Australia and manage a formal complaint process. 

Citizens are encouraged to report any advertising violations by operators with this regulatory body. 

Are Land-Based Casinos Allowed in Australia?

Land-based casinos are legal and regulated across Australia. In fact, Australia is one of the most prominent hot spots of land-based casinos, with each region having established at least one casino. 

At the country's land-based casinos, players can enjoy various gambling products ranging from slots to blackjack and poker. The most well-known Australian casino in the world is the Crown Melbourne in Victoria that gained immense popularity thanks to its annual Aussie Millions poker tournament series.

The majority of territories except for Western Australia allow live gambling in hotels. Still, Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales offer gaming entertainment in local nightclubs. Likewise, much of Australia will enable sports betting, including in-game sports betting.

Land-based operators in Australia are prohibited from operating online and mobile casinos. However, Australian online casino gamblers have access to several offshore operators.

Is It Safe to Gamble at an AU Online Casino?

The development of online gambling has substantial implications for community welfare, revenue collection, and regulatory mechanisms. Consequently, the Federal Parliament has passed legislation prohibiting Australian Internet gambling sites from providing services to Australians. 

If an Australian operator offers services to an Australian resident and they accept it, i.e. play at an online casino in the country, individuals (players) pay penalties that start at $220,000 per day, and up to $1.1 million per day for the company itself.

Is It Safe to Gamble at Offshore Casinos Australia?

Gambling at unregistered offshore operators is not advisable as there is no guarantee that players' money and personal information are secure. AskGamblers advises players to stay on the safe side of gambling online.

Most Popular Casino Types in Australia

It is no surprise that both new and old players have standards they expect to be met in choosing a casino to play at. 

Reviewing parameters players primarily focus on, it shows they mostly check fairness and safety of a casino, game variety, the types of bonuses, promotions and programs on offer, software choice, and casino on-the-go availability.

Mobile Casinos in Australia

While casino games on a computer or laptop are still big, players like to have the option of quick-to-access entertainment on the go. This is why almost all online casinos today feature great mobile versions, and some even have unique apps that add to their brand value.

As online casino gambling is prohibited in Australia, mobile gambling is prohibited as well as it falls into the same “virtual” category.

Instant-Play & Download Casinos in Australia

Generally speaking, two main options for accessing an online casino are instant-play or download casinos. While download casinos run faster, instant-play online casinos require no download and allow you 24/7 access to players' favourite games much faster.

However, as, under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, online casino gaming is prohibited in Australia, players don’t have much use of either instant-play or download casinos unless these casinos are registered offshore.

Which Casino Bonuses Can You Claim in Australia?

Australian casinos make sure they offer attractive bonuses to players and, in doing so, encourage them to sign up or stay with them as long as possible. Theoretically, players could claim these bonuses if online casinos were legal. However, as they are not, we only list the bonuses available for informational purposes: 

  • Welcome bonus
  • Deposit bonus
  • No deposit bonus
  • Free Spins bonus
  • Reload bonus
  • VIP Program
  • Other, speciality bonuses (vary from casino to casino)

Keep in mind that each Australian online casino bonus comes with its own terms and conditions. This is why it is crucial players always read the T&C before claiming the bonus, and make sure they are not at an Australia-owned online casino but at an offshore one.

Most Popular Casino Software in Australia

The unexpectedly fast blossoming of the casino industry into a multi-billion dollar business enabled the presence of software providers of all hues and shades. 

The most popular online casino software in Australia are:

  • Betsoft
  • Betsoft Gaming
  • Booming Games
  • Evolution Gaming
  • IGT
  • iSoftbet
  • Play N' Go
  • Quickspin
  • Rival Gaming
  • RTG
  • Saucify
  • Spigo

In terms of compatibility, which plays a crucial role in today's world, software providers tend to offer games compatible with both Microsoft Windows PCs and Macs. The latest technology makes it possible for providers to offer software for mobile casinos and also WebTV.

Online Casinos That Accept Australian Currency

As Australians cannot participate in gambling activities offered by country-based online casinos due to the legal restrictions, they can choose among offshore web-based gambling operators that are fully licensed and permitted to operate.

The most significant setback, in this case, is that plenty of offshore casinos predominantly work with popular currencies like the British Pound (GBP), the Euro, or the US dollar, adding another step to Australian players' game - converting their AUDs in order to make a deposit. While a single act of conversion is never a big deal, it can become a major inconvenience in the long run.

Which Online Casino Games Can You Play in Australian Casinos?

The law is stringent in terms of what online gambling entertainment prohibits. Under the law, it is not allowed to indulge in roulette games, blackjack, online poker, and slots. 

At the moment, the only forms of online gambling that are entirely legal in Australia are:

  • Sports betting
  • Betting on auto racing
  • Online lottery 

All other forms of online gambling are presently forbidden in Australia.

If the law is broken and an operator offers services to an Australian resident, penalties range from $220,000 per day for individuals and up to $1.1 million per day for the company itself.

Since the Parliament mainly stayed out of iGaming legislation, issuing this bill was a significant change in gambling policy for Australia altogether. 

Online Slots in Australia

Online slot machines are among the most popular casino games you'll find in virtually any location you visit. 

Unfortunately, at this time, slots are illegal to play online. Even so, there is plenty of contradicting information online, some claiming slots online are legal and are legally advertised, too. It's important to double-check all information and local laws before/if playing.

Table and Card Games in Australia

Casino-style games (like poker, blackjack and roulette) that take place online are, just like online slots, illegal. While they are a prevalent form of entertainment in the land-based casinos, they'll still wait a bit to become legal online. 

Lottery and Bingo in Australia

Lottery games in Australia and bingo in Australia are played both online and on-site, with the laws differing from one state to another. This means that each individual state and/or territory has the freedom to determine whether or not they will allow lottery and bingo games. 

As for the types of lotteries operated in each state, the national government helps oversee the general laws; every other decision about the lotteries and bingo (licensing policies, sale plans, distribution regulation, etc.) is controlled by the states alone.

Tatts Group Limited is the very first lottery organisation in Australia and a licensed lottery operator, followed by Jumbo Interactive (Popularly known as Oz lotteries) and LotteryWest. 

Sports Betting in Australia

The law allows sports betting, and auto racing in case betting is not conducted in-game. This is great news for Australian players who enjoy this type of entertainment and know-how and where to access the most reputable sportsbook.

AskGamblers list of the best sports betting platforms lists plenty of options to choose from for safe and reputable betting. Still, we strongly advise players to check player reviews of the sportsbook section, the bonuses available on these sites, deposit and withdrawal options, as well as the odds and betting types. 

History of Gambling in Australia

Despite its strict gambling laws and regulations, gambling has long been a part of Australia's identity and culture. Paired with racing and sport, gambling is well established in Australia's national consciousness. 

The beginning of the Australian state and territory-based regulation of gambling (that's still in place today) started in the early 20th century. With the introduction of online wagering in the country, the gambling industry started (and continued) to flourish, despite conflicting facts surrounding it. 

Lottery and totalisator operators have always been historically government-owned entities, and almost all states and territories (with Western Australia being the exception) have corporatised and privatised these gambling operators. 

The first gambling events in Australia ever recorded to take place were in:

  • 1810, a horse racing meeting that took place at Hyde Park in Sydney, Australia
  • 1880, the first lottery game organised
  • In the 1950s, the first slot machines were introduced in clubs and pubs

Future Online Gambling Trends in Australia

There's been a sharp rise recorded in players' increased interest in online entertainment coinciding with the recent closure of land-based casinos.

It appears the talks of additional regulations are in the works. However, until any change is made that will enable players to gamble in Australia, they should be careful as to what type of fun they are choosing. They should also get familiar with the laws and regulations of Australia. 

 

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