Gambling in Australia: What are the rules?


There are many things people do in their free time. Especially in times of the worldwide pandemic, people tend to stay at home trying to find some distraction and entertainment. Online games and online casinos have become increasingly popular in recent years also in Australia.

Australian Online Casinos are now a big part of the industry and appear to rise more within the next few years. Like in most other places, gambling is regulated and monitored by the government in Australia as well.

As online casinos mostly operate on a global decentralized basis and gambling rules around the world may differ a lot, it is not so easy to get an overview of the rules in your own country. Especially for those who are new to the game, it is important to know the rules to play by. But what exactly are the gambling rules in Australia and how does the governmental system work to regulate it? We have gathered the facts that you need to know!

What are the Australian gambling policies?

The gambling policy in Australia has ever since been the responsibility of the states rather than the commonwealth. In Australia, the state and territory governments regulate the gambling activities and provide gambling services, while relying heavily on the resulting revenues.

This means that every territory is regulating the gambling happening within its own borders individually. Recently the Commonwealth has appeared to play a bigger role in the gambling industry, as public concern arose over the impact gambling has on Australian society.

The rapid technological development and the appearance of new communication technologies, which play a big role in the gambling industry, have attracted the government’s interest, as protection and regulation of gambling falls within the commonwealth’s constitutional responsibilities.

As more and more online casinos and gambling platforms have been appearing on the market, the government was obviously forced to take significant steps in developing more contemporary regulatory mechanisms in order to keep up with the rapidity of the industry and be able to collect revenues and community welfare. As mentioned before, online casinos mostly operate on a decentralized basis which makes it hard for governments to regulate the industry. For this reason, the Federal Parliament has passed legislation to prohibit online gambling websites from providing services in Australia.

The Interactive Gambling Act 2001

First steps towards better regulation of the gambling industry were taken already with the Interactive Gambling Act in 2001. The general aim of passing this legislation was to combat the negative impact online gambling has started to have on the country. Essentially the Gambling Act introduced stricter rules for poker and gambling in general.

The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 explains what is allowed and what is prohibited in Australia’s gambling landscape. Obviously one of the first points is just that illegal and prohibited interactive gambling services must not be provided in Australia. Furthermore all gambling services must be registered and licensed by the local authority.

Unlicensed gambling services are prohibited as well. So, look out for any hints that show whether the gambling service you are using is licensed. Unlicensed and prohibited gambling services must as well not be provided to customers in other countries. And of course, the act also prohibits the advertisement of any non-regulated or unlicensed gambling services throughout the country.

Now we have seen what is prohibited. But what exactly did this mean in reality? The passing but essentially a ban on most of the online gambling services, except for auto racing and sports betting. The idea of the act is of course to go after the providers of interactive gambling services instead of the customers.

The legislation aims to protect customers from fraud and other dangers the gambling industry contains and can be applied to providers based in Australia as well as foreign providers, regardless of their origin or citizenship. This was actually already a pretty early step in the direction of passing meaningful legislation that regulates international gambling activities.

Further legislation

As gambling operators since then have acted quickly and managed to find some loopholes to avoid the legislation, like in-game betting via smartphone. Obviously, more complex restrictions and regulations had to be assembled when it comes to online poker and online slot machines. To clarify these laws, further amendments have been introduced in 2016 and 2017.

As in Australia gambling laws are individually applied by each territory, they can differ from state to state. For this reason, we urge you to check the legislation and gambling rules of your state. While the explained acts and amendments operate on a national level, small details can be different whether you are in Tasmania or New South Wales. It is important to inform yourself and look out for logos that show the license and legality of the gambling provider you are using.

Micky News

Finance, cryptocurrency and blockchain news - created by Australians, for the world.

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