Online Gambling In Australia: Is It Legal?


In 1810, horse racing betting became the first form of gambling legal in Australia. State governments control most aspects of land-based gambling regulation.

Although it can not contravene federal gambling legislation, in case of conflict, federal and Commonwealth laws always supersede local laws.

Australian online gambling regulations are straightforward from the perspective of the player. Simply put, you can place bets online without violating any laws.

The penal code does not include playing poker, gambling, or placing a sports wager. The main concern for Australian gamblers is finding a secure location to play.

Many websites accept Australian dollars and AUD deposits, but we always advise researching and sticking with the best names in the business.

The global coronavirus pandemic, which decimated land-based gaming establishments and led to their closure permanently, the loss of casino jobs, and significant harm to the tourism and hospitality industries, represents the most significant recent upheaval in the Australian gambling industry.

The six states and the ten territories in Australia, a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, have a great deal of autonomy regarding regulating land-based gaming.

The following types of gambling are often permitted in Australian states:

  • Lottery (run occasionally by a private corporation but is monopolized by the state both offline and online);
  • Casino gaming – all states in Australia have at least one casino; online casinos with severe restrictions, usually limited to the premise, are also legal in some states.
  • Wagering and sports betting (at both physical and online bookies and sports books);
  • Electronic gaming devices, also known as “pokies,” include: (in slot halls, or in some states, venues with liquor licenses can have pokies too)
  • Bingo (profit or non-profit)
  • Poker (in the regulated casinos) (in the licensed casinos)

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The Interactive Gambling Act Of 2001

Certain interactive gambling activities, such as “internet casinos,” are prohibited in Australia. Blackjack, roulette, poker, craps, and internet “pokies” are some examples.

The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 (IGA) forbids the provision of any game of chance, including games of mixed chance and skill, to a physically present person in Australia.

According to the IGA, it is unlawful to:

  • Supply Australian customers with an interactive gambling service that is forbidden;
  • Offer Australian users a regulated interactive gambling service that is not licensed; and
  • Offer users in specified nations an interactive gambling service with an Australian base.

All interactive gaming companies, whether Australian- or foreign-owned and situated in Australia or elsewhere, are guilty of these acts.

The act seeks to reduce the negative consequences that gambling has on the Australian populace. Instead of their actual or potential clients, it is directed at interactive gaming suppliers.

Internet service providers (ISPs) deal with online gaming hosted outside Australia following The Interactive Gambling Industry Code.

One of the approved filters indicated in Schedule 1 of the Code must be made available by ISPs under this clause.

Customers should be warned that they incur a significant risk of losing their money if they bet utilizing unlawful services.

These services occasionally decline to reimburse deposits or pay customers for winnings. As the services are being provided illegally, Australian clients have few options.

Analysis Of Australian Online Gambling

On the other hand, online gambling is controlled at the Commonwealth level.

The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 and the Interactive Gambling Amendment Act of 2017 and their revisions have made online gambling lawful in Australia since 2001 for organizations that have obtained a license.

Additionally, the comprehensive and frequently updated Interactive Gambling Act outlaws many online games of chance outright at the federal level.

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Australia’s Problem With Gambling

According to the government, the stringent regulation of online betting and wagering is to shield Australians from the drawbacks of online gambling.

In Australia, problem gambling is a significant social problem. In Australia, almost 80% of people routinely engage in gambling of some kind.

And about 500 000 of these players face a high chance of developing gambling addictions, which would harm their families, communities, and themselves (aboriginal Australians are significantly adversely affected, and Indigenous Australians are overrepresented among gambling addicts).

Slot and video poker machines, or “pokies,” as they are known locally, have historically been Australia’s most troublesome gambling options.

A severe addiction affects one in six gamblers who often use these machines, and that percentage hasn’t changed much.

The usage of gaming machines, which is the leading cause of problem gambling and gambling addiction, has not been significantly curbed by the Interactive Gaming Act.

They are still permitted to play at the many regulated locations and land-based casinos in Australia.

The Licensing Of Gambling In Australia

State-level licensing and regulation of land-based gaming is made at the regional level. State governments also provide licenses for online gambling (also known as internet gaming).

However, the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA), which operates at the Commonwealth level, regulate internet gambling nationwide.

Gambling Tax In Australia

There is no federal legislation governing gambling taxes in Australia. The states’ and territories’ tax rates vary significantly.

But there is one exception. Each state taxes online gambling at the point of consumption by 15%. Due to a weakness in the Australian tax system, online gambling enterprises were only required to file taxes in the state where they were registered and granted a license.

To address this issue, all states (except the Northern Territory and Victoria, where it is just 10%) have gradually enacted a pint of sales tax on online gaming.

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In Australia, fantasy sports betting is regarded as gambling, necessitating a bookmaker license. But one license is sufficient. A vendor may provide services to citizens of different states and territories if registered in one state or territory.

Social gaming is rigorously regulated. Only games that are played for free (with no entry fee, bet, or rake) are categorized as social gambling (which makes poker impossible unless you play with tokens).

So-called online “social casinos” are not yet regarded as gambling (although, indirectly, money does change hands there, with players paying for points).

Nevertheless, it has recently come under fire from many MPs; nothing will probably come of this for years, but the discussion has begun as they gain more and more support.

Gambling gains are not taxed in Australia, which is valid for all states and territories (except for professional gamblers, such as full-time poker players, who are subject to a 30% tax).

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