Liberal laws govern online and offline gambling activities in Australia, and the following is an overview of these laws.
Online Gambling Laws
According to the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001, offering certain gambling services to individuals physically located in Australia via the internet is illegal. Here is a list of illegal online gambling activities in Australia:
- Slots, also called pokies in Australia
- Poker, roulette, and blackjack games
- Scratchcards, also called scratchies in Australia
- In-play or live betting for sports
- Online sportsbooks without an Australian license
- Betting on results of lottery games
Licensed operators can legally offer online sports betting, wagering, and lottery games in Australia. But, residents can play any gambling game if no real money is involved.
Australian gambling laws target operators, not residents. No company or individual can legally offer online casino games within Australian territory. However, Australia has no law prohibiting residents from signing up at offshore online casinos accepting its residents.
Although the Australian government cannot control online casinos licensed in offshore jurisdictions, it has granted the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) the power to instruct ISPs to block unlicensed online casinos targeting Australian residents. Check the ACMA’s list of blocked gambling sites before signing up.
Since Australia has no laws to prevent Australians from signing up at online casinos licensed in offshore jurisdictions, it warns residents against signing up at such sites. Offshore online casinos are not located in Australia, making it impossible for Australian law-enforcement agencies to take action against them if they cheat residents.
However, Australian residents can complain about unlicensed online casinos to the ACMA, which will then take the required steps to block the service.
Legal Land Casinos in Australia
Land-based casino gaming has been legal in Australia since 1973. Any gambling company can operate in Australia, provided it has a license.
The Commonwealth government does not regulate land casinos. Instead, it grants each Australian state or territory the power to frame gambling laws and independently license, regulate, and monitor land-based casinos.
Australia has more slot clubs or halls than land casinos. There are 1,800+ pokie clubs, slot clubs, or pokie halls throughout Australia but only around 14 full-fledged casinos. A slot club is a standalone venue or a facility located in a hotel offering a limited number of pokies. Slot clubs are illegal only in Western Australia.
A casino is a multi-facility establishment with services and features like table and card games, poker rooms, sports betting, VIP rooms, and slot halls. Also, it offers bars & restaurants, hotel stays, and live entertainment.
Queensland has the most land-based casinos, and the biggest casino in Australia is The Star Sydney. Three groups operate land-based casinos in Australia—Crown Resorts, Star Entertainment Group, and Federal Group.
Star Sydney, Crown Melbourne, Casino Canberra, Adelaide Casino, Crown Perth, Lasseters Casino Hotel, and Star Gold Coast are some of the licensed brick-and-mortar casinos in Australia.
Sports Betting in Australia
Online bookies are legal in Australia, and all Australian states have licensed sportsbooks. They offer different kinds of bonuses, promotions, betting markets, and features because gambling laws differ in each state.
Two laws are common to all Australian states. First, the legal age to gamble is 18. Second, operators must conduct KYC verification procedures to prevent fraud and money laundering.
The IGA prohibits live or in-play betting as the country considers the activity interactive. Licensed Australian sportsbook operators demand changes in the laws to legalize in-play or live betting because it is popular in European countries.
But there are a number of offshore sportsbooks still accepting Aussie players ignore the law and continue to offer live betting services.
Remember To Always Gamble Responsibly & With The Money You Can Afford To!
Vikas Varier is a content writer based in Sydney. Previously, Vikas worked for different digital agencies as a writer. During that time he helped companies attract visitors and convert leads through cleverly written copy. He has degrees in Communication and Management from Charles Sturt University. In his free time he loves to walk around and cycle in the Royal National Park.