Online Casino Gambling in Australia

Introduction

Australia is one of the biggest markets for the online gambling industry in the world. Studies show that over 80% of the population in Australia is involved in some form of gambling. Generally, the regulations for live betting in Australia are more favorable than those for online gaming. In this piece, we shall go through everything you need to know regarding gambling laws for online and live gambling in Australia. We shall also answer the question, ‘Is online gambling legal in Australia?’

Let’s start with the organizations that regulate the gambling industry in Australia.

Regulatory bodies in Australia

Many of the gambling regulations are made at the territorial/state level. Contrary to popular belief, the Australian parliament rarely has anything to do with the regulations. What this means is that every area handles its own regulations. Below are some of the organizations formed for this purpose.

  • ACT Gambling and Racing Commission - Australian Capital Territory
  • Office of Liquor, Gaming, and Racing - New South Wales
  • Licensing Commission - Northern Territory
  • Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation - Queensland
  • Independent Gambling Authority - South Australia
  • Tasmanian Gaming Commission - Tasmania
  • Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation - Victoria
  • Department of Racing, Gaming, and Liquor - Western Australia

In addition, to the previously listed organizations are the Australian Communications and Media Authority, which presides over the iGaming advertising in all of Australia. The body manages formal complaint processes that citizens can report regarding any adverts that violate the rules and regulations.

Is Online Gambling Illegal in Australia?

Australia was among the first nations to address the legal issue surrounding the online gambling industry. It did this in 2001 by passing the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001. The law was designed to protect the public from the negative effects of online gambling. It targets online gambling companies. Under this law, it is illegal for the operators to;

  • Offer iGaming products that are unlicensed to Australian players
  • Offer iGaming products designed and based in Australia to other nations
  • Offer interactive gambling products that have been prohibited by the law to players in Australia

The IGA makes many online gambling activities illegal, including: blackjack, roulette, pokies, and online poker. However, it doesn’t ban sports betting and auto racing. However, the legality of these activities is dependent on the fact that there should not be any betting services attached to the activities.

Additionally, online lotteries are illegal, with the exception of instant-win scratch cards. So, is placing bets in online casinos illegal? Well, not quite. The IGA doesn’t criminalize it. As such, Australians are not penalized for playing in online casinos.

Will you go to jail for playing online casino games?

No. The online gambling laws in Australia are designed for companies and not the players. It’s not illegal for players to use online casinos.

Are winnings taxed?

Generally, they aren’t, though there’s an exception if you are a pro gambler. If you are a professional gambler, then your wins are subject to standard income tax. As a recreational player, you don't have to worry about taxes.

With that, you now know everything about online gambling in Australia to help you stay on the right side of the law.