Australian Gambling Laws
When it comes to online gambling in Australia, even experienced Aussie players have questions. Australia is thought to be a nice area with numerous brick-and-mortar casinos for any taste, but what about online opportunities? Is online gambling legal in Australia? And what should every Australian player know before starting to play?
To help our readers, we’ve created a comprehensive guide on online gambling laws in Australia. At online-casinoau.com, you’ll find all the necessary knowledge about online casino services in this country and what the government does to take it under control.
Gambling Australian laws have historically been more under the power of the states rather than the federal authorities. Local administrations control this industry, including casinos, and benefit massively from it. Nevertheless, the latest reforms have confirmed that the central government started to act more actively in this sphere.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Australia?
The administration of the gaming industry is performed at two levels in Australia. Before anything else, the central government manages the sphere as a whole. Then, the local authorities began to act and manage gambling at the regional level. In practical terms, some variants of online gaming activities are sanctioned.
Pokies are amongst the most widespread forms of gaming. Are online pokies legal in Australia? The pokie machines are available for local gamblers and can be discovered not only in traditional casinos but also, for instance, in pubs.
When it comes to various online platforms, online poker is referred to as one of the most popular games. However, running poker sites in Australia are banned. Does it mean that Australians can’t play this game at all? Actually, not, as it isn’t illegal for Australians to take part in these activities.
Gambling for Real Money
Generally, providing gambling activities for real money or running a company associated with online gambling isn’t allowed in Australia. This involves the games like blackjack, craps, roulette, and poker, but once again, Aussies can take part in such activities as this isn’t prohibited. Online bingo isn’t forbidden, while some online lotteries are.
Many online casinos are founded and licensed in another country to provide Australian players with an opportunity to play whatever they want without any limitations.
Interactive Gambling Act 2001
The online gambling industry is regulated by the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA). The main aim of this document is to set the rules for gambling companies and casinos. Here are the key principles of this legislative act.
- Gambling enterprises aren’t allowed to market real money online activities to Australian players. However, players from Australia can freely take part in gaming activities on the platforms licensed in other countries.
- Online companies located in Australia can present services to individuals abroad.
- Some forms of sports betting and most lotteries are okay to participate in. However, there are some measures set to stop ‘click-to-call’ bookmaking.
IGA regulates all gambling activities that are presented online, whether it is a site or application specifically designed for use with a phone. The legislation was changed in 2017 and 2019 to adjust it to the transformations in the gambling market.
State Gambling Regulatory Departments in Australia
There are several regulatory agents, besides the government, that control online gambling in Australia. They work on the local level in various Australian states and territories. Take a look at the table below.
|The ACT Racing and Gambling Commission||This is an independent commission that monitors and manages a wide array of gaming activities, including betting in the ACT.|
|The NSW Department of Gaming and Racing||This department regulates and controls gaming, liquor racing, and charity activities in NSW.|
|The Racing and Gaming Authority||This authority manages the gaming activities in the Northern Territory. There is also a separate commission on this territory that regulates how gaming machines work here.|
|The Queensland Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation||This administrative agency regulates gambling and gaming in Queensland.|
|The Gaming Supervisory Authority||This authority covers a large variety of aspects connected to gambling in South Australia.|
|The Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission||This regulatory agency monitors and controls gambling and gaming in Tasmania.|
|The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation||This authority manages gambling activities in Victoria.|
|The Office of Racing, Gaming, and Liquor||This authority regulates gambling in Western Australia. It includes licensing, controlling, and auditing.|
When it comes to online gaming in Australia, it must follow the regulations from the federal government as well as local authorities.
Is There Any Tax on Winnings in Australia?
Aussies don’t pay any tax for their winnings. The thing is that gambling enterprises pay tax while the customers don’t. That’s why Australian players don’t have to pay any income tax and can simply enjoy their winning money. According to the federal authorities, it’s revenue from a specific type of hobby and purely a matter of luck.
How does it work? Here are several important things to bear in mind.
- The tax usually depends on the type of gambling establishment and the type of game. For example, the amount of money will be different for pokie machines in a pub and a casino in a resort.
- Different states require different operator taxes.
- Casinos also pay taxes by obtaining a license from the authorities. The license is essential to run a gambling business in Australia.
However, a player might meet with some fees while playing. They are connected with cashing and depositing funds on international gambling sites. Plus, converting to local currency (AUD) and vice versa might be processed with some charges. While choosing a platform for your next gaming journey, it’s a good idea to pay attention to any extra fees and charges.
Are There Any Recent Changes in the Law?
In the last few years, several changes to IGA were made, but a lot of developments are still happening in online gaming in Australia. Online gambling might see some transformation in the future. Big companies on the online markets want to operate more freely and make more profits. However, it currently seems more likely that the present state of affairs will remain untouched for some time. Here are several trends to keep in mind.
- Some lawmakers suggest that foreign platforms where Australian gamblers play should be banned. These legislations would demand banks to stop online gambling money transfers. Nevertheless, it is difficult to make this intention into reality according to financial institutions.
- Another idea that is also popular in Australia is absolutely the opposite. Other policymakers propose to make online gaming activities and casinos completely legitimate in Aussieland. This means that Australian businesses should have a chance to get specific licenses and operate freely when it comes to online roulette, poker, and so on.
Unfortunately, it seems that the second approach to gambling expansion doesn’t have enough support to get the green light any time soon. Australian players still have an opportunity to try their luck on online platforms and sites registered and licensed overseas, but online gaming for real money from fully local operators is still not accessible.
Update on the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001
The IGA was changed twice in recent years. It happened in 2017 and 2019. Let’s take a look at these updates more closely to see how they affected casinos and other gaming establishments.
Changes to the IGA in 2017
The legislation was changed to fight companies from outside Australia that offers unlawful gaming services online.
Following the improvements in the Interactive Gambling Amendment Act 2017:
- the list of Australian-licensed gambling platforms was published;
- some operators and casinos lost the opportunity to offer their services to Aussies;
- new advanced tools were introduced to make companies follow the rules;
- authorities are able to report about the directors and managers of lawbreaking enterprises to the Australian Border Force.
These measures were taken to make online gambling safer for Australians. As a result, more than 100 casinos and gambling platforms have been removed from the market. Moreover, according to reports, the amount of money Australian players lost on casino games and other gambling activities based in other countries has decreased.
Changes to IGA in 2019
The changes made in 2019 allowed the establishment of the National Self-Exclusion Register. This is a great instrument for those who want to limit their gambling habits. It will allow every player to exclude themselves from licensed casino services in a few clicks. The service is expected to launch in mid-2022.
To summarize, the gambling industry in Australia is regulated by the federal government and local authorities. Is gambling illegal in Australia? Is it okay to gamble online there? Partially yes. Australian-based companies and casinos are prohibited to promote online games for real money, but Aussies can freely play in casinos that are registered in other countries. Platforms from around the globe have provided online poker, baccarat, blackjack, and other exciting games to Aussies without any issues.