The Legal Status of Gambling in Australia


Australian gambling laws have traditionally been under the purview of the state and not the Commonwealth. State and territorial governments regulate all forms of gambling in the country and benefit from the proceeds. However, more recently, the Commonwealth has begun taking an active interest in gambling regulations.

The rapid adoption of newer technologies seems to have attracted their interest, which is an area falling under their Constitutional responsibilities. Online gambling development has numerous positive implications on Australia’s revenue collection, regulatory protocols, and community welfare in general.

The 2001 Australian Interactive Gambling Act

The Australian Commonwealth back in 2001 enforced the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) to curb the perceived negative impacts of the activity on society. Due to technical loopholes, the authorities had no choice but to protect those running a higher risk of gambling addiction, and operators became the primary target.

According to the IGA, gambling operators in Australia were barred from promoting the activity to the domestic audience using real money. Australians were, however, free to sign up on off-shore casinos. Australia-based operators were also allowed to cater to users from outside the nation.

Rising incidences of punters placing wagers from mobile devices forced the authorities to regulate online gambling and the 2016 Interactive Gambling Bill prohibiting iGaming was introduced.

Is iGaming Legal in Australia?

The 2016 IGB allows certain forms of online gambling within the border, although the activities are heavily regulated under two levels. While there’s the Federal government at Level 1, state and territorial administrators form Level 2 security. Online pokies, Bingo, and video slots are legal at casino Australia, while video poker, craps, roulette, and baccarat are banned.

The ACT Racing and Gambling Commission is in charge of regulating and monitoring all gambling activities in the country. While the NSW Department of Gaming and Racing is responsible for the orderly conduct and the balanced development of racing, gaming, liquor, and charity industries in the region.

How Australians Can Legally Gamble Online?

Australians can legally gamble online on foreign websites since the implications are minor, to begin with. Off-shore gambling income is non-taxable, although the players can choose to file taxes at their discretion. However, the operators must ensure that local players cannot sign up for their services and illegal games aren’t being offered.

Signing up on off-shore platforms has its risks. For instance, these operators are under no legal directives to offer legitimate services and cannot be pursued in a court of law in case of fraudulent activities. Players run the risk of getting duped at the end of the day and are solely responsible for validating the authenticity of the websites offering iGaming services.

The IGA and the IGB were formed keeping the gamblers’ interests in mind. However, the players are free to sign-up with any operator they deem fit. The only downside is that the government won’t be liable to recover your losses if any!