Welcome to our latest look at whether online gambling is legal in Australia. This guide is designed to be a comprehensive piece of advice for bettors, particularly those who are newcomers to betting online.
Let’s answer the question ‘is betting legal in Australia?’ We’ll let you know what you can and can’t wager on when you play online and define the difference between games of chance and sports and casino betting. There’s even a few tips on how to gamble safely online. First up, that all important question - Is online gambling legal in Australia?
Betting in Australia is a thorny subject. It used to be guided by local state law until in 2001, the federal government stepped in to give some further clarification on the gambling laws in the country. They, like many residents in Australia were concerned with the increase in offshore wagering companies taking advantage of Australian residents. The people involved in this situation were at high risk of debt, so essentially, the government stepped in.
The result was quite a dramatic change. Betting in the country was scrutinised and labeled either a ‘game of chance’ or a ‘game of skill’. Those who wager on the latter are still legally allowed to, whereas those wagering on games of skill such as bingo or baccarat were left disappointed. So is online gambling legal in Australia? Yes, but in quite a different way to its previous incarnation.
As a result of the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act certain online gambling services were removed from online casino and bookmaker services. These were dubbed ‘games of chance’, games where a player can have no influence over the subsequent result of a bet. This led to a ban of several popular table games including roulette, baccarat and blackjack. Slots were also banned as the player has no way of skillfully impacting on the position of the reels. Games of skill, such as pool and darts however, are still allowed.
There is no ban on the operation of physical or online casinos and bookmakers in Australian states, however, it is important to note that if you’re a fan of games of chance, you won’t be able to play any of these either online or offline.
Offshore bookmakers are allowed to operate in Australia as long as they meet the strict guidelines set out by the Australian government. The first rule they need to adhere to is to ensure that they don’t provide casino games that are games of chance to Australian residents. Later on you’ll find a list of casino games that are games of chance, so you’ll know exactly what you can and cannot bet on. The important thing to remember is if you can play a game without having any influence over it by using strategy or intelligence, it is likely a game of chance.
Another condition of operating in Australia is licensing. Any online bookmaker who allows Australian customers must be licensed by the Australian Federal and state government. Failure to hold a valid offshore gambling license while operating in Australia is a serious offence and will have worldwide operating implications.
The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 came into force to mainly protect those who wager online. It was thought that by wagering online you can do so in the seclusion of your home and this can make it more difficult for problem gamblers to get help if they need it, as their betting can remain covert. So while online betting is legal in Australia, the question on some people’s lips is should it be?
The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 was created to stop people, particularly young people from betting on a game with which they have no control over the outcome. These are called games of chance. We’ll list a few of those in a moment, but games of chance rely on players having no control over the outcome of the game.
Does it require skill or thought practices to play the game? Then it’s not a game of chance. Games of chance are games that can be played passively, and in the case of online betting, possibly using autoplay without the need to interact with the game. It is worth understanding that even though games of chance are games, they are designed for one purpose, which is to cause a player to spend cash, regardless of whether the result goes in the favour or not.
While Poker is thought to be a game where players have some influence over the result thanks to the decisions they make during the gameplay, it was also banned as part of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 for some time before the decision was reversed. Online poker betting is now legal in Australia, and as such a wide number of online betting sites have added poker to their online collection for poker fans to enjoy.
Other games, however, such as bingo and keno have not had such a positive outcome and are no longer available online to bet on. These games in which a number is drawn and players mark them off on their cards are determined purely by random draw. As such, they were banned along with other games of chance listed above.
Yes! Sports betting is perfectly legal in Australia, both online and in person. If you choose to visit online betting websites to wager on sports you’re likely to find a huge selection. Most online bookmakers offer bets on soccer, Aussie rules football, tennis, cricket and rugby as standard as well as lots of other sports such as lacrosse, MMA, boxing, motor racing and even olympic events. There’s plenty of choice offered whatever sport you prefer, so take a look at one of Australia’s online bookmakers to make a punt.
You’ll find a wide type of betting options available to you. Sports betting is a rich and vibrant tapestry of matched bets, wins and loss bets, overs and unders and many, many more. Our personal favorite is the good old parlay bet, which allows players to make combination bets on a number of betting outcomes. Yes, the odds of hitting a 5, 6, even a 7 accumulator are huge, but so are the potential wins if you’re lucky enough to score big. We often use these on sports such as football, where we can pick a handful of English Premier League or Bundesliga matches and throw them on the same betting slip. One day our bet will come up….one day....
One of the best things about betting online in Australia is the tax-free winnings if you do win! Nope, us Aussie’s aren’t charged taxes if we win a sports or casino bet. Every penny you win is yours to keep! Just try not to spend it all at once, though eh?
Seriously though, there are a few charges that may be given to you if you do win a sports bet online. It’s all down to where you place your wager. Normal bookmakers allow you to place wagers against them for free, but if you want to bet against an event happening you can always place a lay bet on a betting exchange. These allow you to wager against other betting fans at the odds that you choose. Yes, the odds may be better, but most will charge a small commission for the privilege, so make sure to take that into account when placing your bets.
Whoa there Nelly! When the online gambling ban on games of chance came in to play in Australia, the gambling advertisements went along with them. The government was concerned that members of the public such as the young, the financially insecure and the vulnerable would see online and TV advertisements for gambling and become influenced by their messages. As a result you won’t find any online or television advertising for casinos or bookmakers in Australia. However, you’ll still be able to access their products as long as online gambling is legal in Australia.
Yep. You’ll be able to register with an online bookmaker while you’re resident in the country, just make sure that you don’t try and access any casino games that you’re not entitled to access while you’re staying here. If you’re ever stuck for the answer to the question ‘is online gambling legal in Australia?’ be sure to visit our website, we’ll give you the latest up to date advice on betting online here and in other countries.
No way. You can place any type of sports bets you like, from parlay bets to Asian handicap and basic win-loss bets to matched betting. Speaking of which, did you know we’ve got a no risk matched betting Australia guide? It’s the perfect place to get started on your matched betting journey. You’ll be an expert in no time at all.
Betting odds are calculated using a complicated combination of bookmaker know-how, insider information and the form of a particular team/horse/player. This data is usually used in combination with computer software to calculate the odds for each and every bet. As new information comes in, the odds can change - for the better or the worse. The best way of checking the best odds for a bet is to use an odds comparison checker, like ours to see who is offering the best deal with the click of a button.
We’re not sure that anything is on the horizon regarding the change of policy on games of chance. The government was keen to remove the risk these games posed to underage and vulnerable people. It’s possible that stricter regulations on casino management will come in that will allow casinos to open up additional games that are considered higher risk but under their own management, not the governments, but at the moment this is not something they’re considering. For the latest news on sports and casino betting, check out our news section on Wetten.com.
Sports betting has remained pretty much untouched by the change in government betting law. As such, there’s nothing to say really other than manage your betting according to your individual needs. So many players use promotional funds to wager on sports markets that they’re not familiar with. In doing so they risk their betting funds unnecessarily. Research is your friend, and whether you choose to wager on a sport you’re just learning about or one that you’ve played for years, the research that you do will help inform your betting choices for the better.
So we’ve reached the climax of our online gambling review into Australia and we’ve finally answered the question ‘Is online gambling legal in Australia?’ albeit with a little bit of a caveat. Yes, online gambling is available in Australia in some forms, but to protect the residents of the country it is only done so on games that can be dictated by human intellect and skill. As such, sports betting is legal, and you can find a guide to betting on sports online on our Wetten website. What’s more, if you do win while living in Australia, your winnings are non-taxable, meaning every penny you receive is yours to keep!
When you bet online in Australia you’ll be charged the usual betting stake and nothing else unless you decide to bet using a betting exchange. They charge their customers commission for wagering online as they work like a broker between two bettors while they arrange an opposing wager.
It’s also worth noting that some online bookmakers will charge for making an online deposit or withdrawal. Please check out a bookmaker’s terms and conditions to see if they charge fees on your transactions.
As far as we know, online gambling is legal regardless of the area of Australia you live in. However, federal guidelines change quite regularly. Be sure to check out the government website for the latest up to date information.
That’s a tricky one to define. You’ll find more information on the differences between the two in our Online Gambling in Australia guide above.
Above all the Captain demands transparency — and he gets that by seeing over the production of brutally honest bookmaker reviews. Only through constructive criticism will he weed out Dodgybookie and his evil bookie cronies.
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