Guide to Australian Online Gambling
The current legal climate for online gambling in Australia is unclear at this time so we have made the decision to not list any Australian casinos.
Australia is a country that has embraced gambling. A large variety of games are popular with the residents and the market for gambling continues to grow. Here is a guide to understanding Australian online gambling. It includes information on the laws, the taxes, and what gaming options are available.
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Legality of Gambling in Australia
When the settlers first came to Australia as far back as the 1700s, they brought the idea of gambling with them. Betting was often seen, specifically by the aborigines when the Chinese introduced them to card games. These were some of the first social events offering the communities a way to trade necessities, compete, and it also provided a new type of entertainment that has continued to evolve throughout the generations.
How to Regulate It
In the last 300 years, the government has tried to pass laws involving gambling. The majority of the society dictated that this was necessary, though, many laws still struggle with the latest trends in technology. The technology that has made online gambling available from a plethora of international casinos online has struck the desire of many Australians to gamble. As the gaming experiences progress, the laws attempt to do the same, but these international online casinos have made it terribly difficult for the Australian government to properly regulate it within its borders.
First Gambling Laws Enacted
In 1952 the first gambling law was passed in Australia. The “Act to Restrain the Practice of Gambling and the Use of Obscene Language,” and then the “Vagrant Act” the next year, tried to stop people from playing games like two-up and tan-tan. They, however, did not ban betting on horse races. These card games seem to have dangers to the Australian residence at the time, so the laws were meant to restrict betting on these games.
What Lead to Current Laws
It was thought that stricter regulations would protect the Australian people from the negative effects associated with online gambling. Compulsive gambling is a serious issue in Australia, and many are at severe risk of continuing as problem gamblers. Compulsive gambling not only affects the individual, but it can dearly affect their families as well. Video poker has been seen as the most problematic kind of gambling in Australia. 1/6 of the gamblers who play on such machines regularly have a serious addiction issue.
Modern-Day Gambling Laws of Australia
Before the 1970s, a prohibition on card games included these types of games played at casinos. A change in the public’s opinion led to the lobbying changed. At this point, the government focused on the revenue that could be gained from taxing and regulating Australian online casinos. They also thought that this would be a benefit to the tourism industry. The authority was given to territories and states on gambling, and in 1973 the first Australian casino was opened.
The Internet Gambling Act
In the 1990s online gambling became more popular, and many online casinos and poker sites started to offer games to customers around the world. The Australian Commonwealth Parliament, as an answer, passed the Internet Gambling Act to try to stop websites from offering real money games to Australians or to advertise services like this to their citizens. The government has a difficult time enforcing laws like this, as international online casinos continuously attract many players to their games. Companies based in Australia often won’t offer their services to residents of their country while serving players from others. It is illegal for online gambling websites to serve Australian people, but the Internet Gambling Act has had no real effect on these companies.
A Summary of What Is Legal and What Is Illegal
To summarize the legality of online gambling in Australia, it is legal for any site that offers free games to serve Australians. It is unlawful for an Australian website to provide games to Australians that bet real money. It is legal for an Australian website to offer both free and real money games to customers outside of Australia. It is also illegal for sites based in other countries to offer real money gambling to Australians, though there are no countermeasures to these companies.
What the Interactive Gambling Act Did
Online gambling in Australia had more changes in online gambling when the Interactive Gambling Act was passed in 2001. This act makes it unlawful to offer interactive online gaming services that use real money to Australian players. It is also illegal to advertise for such services. Types of services that are included in this band are online poker, sports wagering during the event, and other online casino games.
Who Is Regulating the Australian Gaming Industry
The Australian Commonwealth Parliament overseas the whole gambling industry while many of the regulations choices made by states and territories. Some of these include The Australian Capital Territories Gambling and Racing Commission, Gaming and Racing, the New South Wales Office of Liquor, the Northern Territory’s Licensing Commission, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, and the South Australian Independent Gaming Authority.
No Legality Issues for Gamblers
Most of the people that gamble in Australia have no fear when it comes to the government because there betting platforms available throughout the country and some table games and slot machine games are available at casinos. Playing poker live with cash and for fun are both popular pastimes. Players from all over access some of the biggest casinos in the world around Sydney and Melbourne.
Bingo Regulations in Australia
Online bingo is also regulated by the same laws that affect the online casinos. This means that it is legal for any Australian player to play online bingo. Companies may legally offer online bingo as long as there are no real money services available. Online operators from other countries are not allowed to offer bingo played with real money, but no foreign gambling operators have been prosecuted. This results in Australian bingo fans flocking to these websites.
The lottery is another form of gambling that is legal in Australia. Instant-win lottery tickets, however, are not legal in Australia. The Interactive Gaming Act banned these instant win tickets considering them interactive gaming. Operating the lotteries is legal in Australia, and several companies offer various games including Powerball, TattsLotto, and Keno. Most of the companies involved in Australian lottery have online platforms as well. Australians do not have laws prohibiting them from buying instant scratch tickets online which provide a safe way for players to purchase them.
Benefits of Online Gambling
A benefit of being an online gambler is that you have the freedom to gamble on any site that you choose, with a broad lineup of games available including craps, blackjack, poker, baccarat, roulette, and slots. You can even bet on different sporting events around the world. While the government continues to try to fight online casinos by enacting laws, the players are still able to play on the sites without the danger of any form of prosecution. The laws are continually amended and established to try and keep up with the latest technology and to keep up with player demand. The players of these games are not named in any of the laws as committing criminal offenses.
In a 2007 survey data collected show that over 80% of the Australian population engages in some gambling each year. In that year, Australia had received almost $5 billion in taxes and from gaming revenue. Live poker machines made up the largest portion totaling $3 million. Another study in 2011 showed that 70% of the country’s residents gamble, with Australia’s tax revenue being around $15 billion per year.
Australian Sites Can’t Cater to Australians
Australian residence is allowed to play using international online casinos. The government has an issue with the sites themselves and their ability to market in Australia. Gamblers are allowed to pick whatever site they want and can compete in online table games, poker games, and virtual slot machines. Criminal prosecution of any kind is not a danger for any of these players.
How to Make Deposits and Withdrawals
Many payment processors are available that make the process of depositing and withdrawing money very easy. The government looks down on Australian banks allowing these types of transactions, but there are many other processors that will work with Australians to allow for deposits and withdrawals using many different methods. You can use eChecks, debit cards or checking and savings accounts.
Tax Regulations Regarding Casino Winnings
Australia has some of the best rules in the world regarding the taxes that you pay on the money that you went. There are no tax obligations on the winnings of any player whether they win or lose. Gambling is not considered a profession but games of luck, so overall winnings balance with the overall losses. The gambling operators, however, are taxed. The government deems that these casino owners and betting companies are the only participants that need to pay the taxes. Each state and territory have varying rates of taxation, but in none of the players pay anything.
Play with the Australian Dollar
The majority of international casinos at enough Australian players that they offer options to use the Australian dollar. Just about every Internet casino will allow you to deposit and withdraw these funds, though many do not offer play in that same currency. The largest websites will allow a player to pick what currency and give the ability to see their cashier page in the Australian dollar. This can help make things easier in keeping track of wins and losses.
Choosing a Reputable International Company
The main reason that Australian legislation has tried to ban international casinos from allowing Australians to play is the fear of so many websites not paying the appropriate taxes. However, if you choose a reputable international company that has the proper licenses, there is nothing to worry about. The operators of these international gaming sites must submit to audits from the gaming license organization that issued it. Make sure that any website you try is registered with eCOGRA to ensure that the website that they are regularly audited and are completely legitimate. They only approved sites that offer secure and safe gambling experiences.
Safe Data Transfers and Fair Play
Not only is your data safe on these online casinos through encryption software but also the games are kept fair through a random number generator. This means that each card is dealt randomly and that games like slot machines spin randomly. Any international site must use these method methods if they have obtained a gaming license. If you do suspect that any cheating or play deemed unfair on an online casino, you should begin by writing the support staff or the company’s customer service. Depending on how sufficient that answer is, you can continue by contacting the company that holds the gaming license for the site.
Freedom and Convenience
Many Australians enjoy the freedom and convenience that web-based casinos provide. You can play any day at any time from anywhere. These gambling sites offer benefits that have not been available for online gamblers previously. You can find sites that have live dealers that are beamed onto your screen. Some of the biggest jackpots award cash prizes that could completely change your life. The ability to play these games on a tablet or smartphone give complete access from anywhere. It is an interesting concept that you have the option to compete with gamblers from many other countries.
Gambling with Bitcoins
It is also possible to gamble with Bitcoins in Australia. This recent development in online currency has created quite a stir. Since Bitcoins are not an actual currency, they can be used to circumvent different legal issues that involve currency. For instance, a website may not legally be able to offer online gambling with real money, but there is nothing stopping them from letting you gamble with Bitcoins. Bitcoins are considered property and any transaction made with are considered a barter.
Other Prizes That May Be Available
Some of these websites offer more than just cash rewards. Sometimes players are awarded world travel, access to live tournaments and provide gaming options that real casinos can’t offer. Internet gambling sites emphasize independence to make any gaming decision including what limits you have on your bets and what games you want to play. Everyone has their strategies when it comes to certain games to boost their winnings. However, poker is the ultimate in online games of skill.
Helpful Information Regarding Problem Gambling
If you feel you would like to obtain information about problem gambling, the Australian government offers residents a website about responsible gaming. The site includes facts about gambling, important resources, and help for players. There are also Gambler’s Anonymous meetings you can attend if you feel you have become addicted. This website contains information listing what meetings may be available in different areas as well as other resources. If you think you may have a problem or are concerned about someone close to you, this is where you can find help.
Hopefully, now you understand the rules about gambling in Australia, have an idea of what type of game you want to play and know a couple of popular international online casinos that you can start playing on.