A Guide to Online Gambling in Australia

online gambling australia

The online gambling industry soars in Australia. Wikipedia reports that over 80% of adults gamble in Australia and that it is one of the highest rates in the world. That’s unsurprising given the relaxed approach Australia took to gambling for many years. In this article, I’m going to share some insights into Australian gambling. By the end, I hope you will have a greater understanding of our Aussie friends, their laws and their gambling habits.  

The Law – Interactive Gambling Act (2001)

First of all, lets’ get the legal bit out of the way. The interactive gambling act is the chief law that experts refer to when discussing gambling in Australia. The main thing to come from this bill was the prohibition of advertising real money online games to Australian residents. This was obviously a way to curb some of the problem gambling that was rising in many states. The second cause of the bill was to protect Australians; unlicensed regulated interactive gambling services must not be provided to customers in Australia.

There were quite a few games that were not eligible to Australians but innovative operators have found loopholes e.g. accepting bets over phones. The Australian government tried to resolve this by passing an amendment bill in 2016. The biggest hit from this bill amendment was the major poker sites leaving Australian market. Whilst many forms of gambling could be accessible, online poker was not. It was helped when some operators like Ignition entered the market.

In short, there is nothing for an Australian to be concerned with when gambling. It is the operators that are impacted by the laws and have to jump through hoops. Gamblers are protected by the laws and cannot be prosecuted for betting online.

Disclaimer on Gambling Laws in Australia

Australia, like the USA is a country that is regulated at lower level i.e., state or territory. There are eight territories, each of which have their own jurisdiction for gambling activities in its own area. The areas are listed below and I recommend you do some research if you live in one of the areas, to ensure you are compliant with up-to-date regulations.

  1. Australian Capital
  2. Northern Territory
  3. New South Wales
  4. South Australia
  5. Queensland
  6. Victoria
  7. Western Australia
  8. Tasmania

Taxation in Australia

Like the UK tax system, Australia does not view gambling as anything but a recreational past time that involves luck. Therefore, any winnings that arise from gambling is not subject to tax. That’s pretty awesome eh? The reason they take this stance is due to the fact that gambling is not a profession, its luck based, and that the government seek to take taxes from the operators instead. For astute Australians who regularly win at gambling, this is great news.

Favourite Australian Online Gambling Game

Without doubt, slot machines or “pokies” are the default go to game in Australia. These games are so popular that there are laws regulating the use in some territories. It’s a massive market that generates interest from all over Australia.

The popularity of pokies is probably down to the variety of slots available. A google search shows there is literally hundreds of variations of pokies so it’s no surprise Australians love them.

Online Poker in Australia

Like USA, online poker is going through a turbulent time with Australia. Essentially, many operators don’t want to get fines or run into legal problems by operating to Australians. Whilst the law is clear and individuals are safe to bet, the operators and offshore sites are the ones that could get into trouble. This means Australians wanting to gamble online need to do due diligence and find the right sites. There are fantastic review sites that do the hard work for you like  https://www.onlinecasino-australia.com/. By sticking with the best and trusted sites, you will have a better experience.

Conclusion on Online Gambling in Australia

There is no risk of fine or penalty for an Australian gambling online. Like any gambling activity, it’s important to do research, exercise bankroll management and gamble responsibly. If you do this, you will be more likely to have a fun time and hopefully win too.

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Narciso Baldo is the Director and Head Coach of Texas Hold'em Questions. He has been playing poker for over 16 years. After spending many years as a professional, he now runs UK poker training site Texas Hold'em Questions. Narciso regularly writes poker articles sharing tips, strategy, news and experience with gambling enthusiasts. Narciso also writes for reputable gambling portal Casino City Times, (bio here). Contact: info@texasholdemquestions.com