Australian Online Betting Laws

Introduction to Online Betting Law in Australian

Online betting regulations can be a minefield anywhere in the world. However, once you apply the unique multi-platform of different types of government (state, federal and local) in Australia, it’s clear that there is plenty of room for confusion when discussing Australian betting laws.

That’s why we have decided to assist you by;

  • Breaking down and simplifying the Australian Gambling Laws and regulations.
  • Letting you know which forms of gambling are legal, and;
  • Advising who exactly regulates gambling in Australia.

BettingTop10 only recommend licensed bookmakers that conform to the strict Australian online bookmaker license laws, that will assist you in securing the best odds for any sporting event across the Aussie online betting sites.

Breakdown of the Australian Gambling Laws

Australia has one of the highest gambling rates in the world with more than 80% of the population regularly taking part in some type in some form of gambling. The regulatory climate for betting has always been quite favourable while the state and Federal governments have less embraced online gaming.

So, what does that mean for you when you are thinking of placing an online bet? Aussie online users are often unsure about the legality of gambling online, and governments has arguably more than enough influence on the industry. Current state and federal government laws and legislations surrounding online casino gambling and online sports betting are concentrated on how Australian online bookmakers run their business and determine which betting services they may and may not provide, as opposed to what online bettors are allowed to do with their own money.

In reality, the laws (which we will discuss later in this article) have minimal effect on individual recreational punters, however, they rather focus on restricting both local and foreign online casino operators from providing online gambling options to Australian residents.

Which Forms of Gambling Are Legal?

With the different state governments all looking at the betting laws Australia slightly differently, it’s become a complex question with multifaceted answers, however, to provide the most simple and important answer that you need to know;

  • It is currently illegal for online casinos to access a license to offer services to Australian residents to place wagers at online casinos, online poker and bingo rooms, and;
  • Online sports betting and racing sites are perfectly legal.

However, it’s not all black and white, and there are exceptions adding to the shades of gray of the online betting regulations; For example, live betting is deemed to be illegal over the internet in Australia (live betting is only available over the telephone in Australia).

To further complicate matters, some state governments have taken it upon themselves to muddy the waters even further.

In 2018 and 2019, the NSW State Government banned the advertising of all betting inducements to residents, including the making illegal the following types of promotions;

  • Welcome bonuses or sign-up bonuses for New Account holders
  • Cash Back or money back refunds
  •  Referral bonuses for referring friends
  • Live (In-play) betting refunds, and;
  • No bet boost, double your winnings or other enhanced odds promotions

These type of inducements for punters are popular across the nation, however, with the NSW Government’s move, the ban of promotional inducements may well be added to Australian betting laws nationwide, as NSW is the most populous Australian state by some margin.

Who regulates Gambling in Australia?

In addition to the Federal Government of Australia (the Department of Communication and the Arts) supplying the over-arching nationwide gambling legislation (the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 and its 2016 Amendment – see detailed explanation below), each state and territory government regulate both land-based and online gambling in their respective state or territory jurisdiction;

The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001

The most important thing to know about the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 is that it banned online casino gambling from Australia.

While online betting regulations make legal, horse racing & lotto betting in addition to sports betting (all three industries are licensed and regulated within Australia), the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) explicitly bans online casino operators from servicing Aussie citizens and residents.

The original June 2001 IGA passed in June 2001 by the Howard-government aims to protect the public from any negative effects of betting. The Act decided to prohibit the following:

  • It is illegal for any online casino (Australian or foreign owned) to offer real money online gambling services to Australian residents.
  • It also prohibits organisations to advertise real money online gambling services to Aussie residents.

The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016

The IGA Amendment Bill originally passed in 2016, went into full legal effect across Australia in September 2017, meaning from that point on offshore (foreign) online casinos and offshore online poker sites could no longer legally accept Australian players, at the risk of large fines and penalties.

Consequently, any form (Aussie or international) of online casino play is technically banned in Australia and policed by geo-location technology.

Summing it Up

Firstly, the not-so-good news:

Online Casino Betting is a no-no in Australia. Forget it. It is simply not worth the risk.

Secondly, the GREAT news:

Aussie online betting aficionados and fans interested in placing legal sport and racing wagers can still sign up legally at a large number of quality Australian online betting sites despite some state and government laws limiting your ability to place online casino wagers.

Thirdly and finally, THE EXCELLENT NEWS – which legal sports and horse racing betting sites offer my best chance of success?:

BettingTop10 Australia takes pleasure in assisting you in choosing only quality and legal online sites to have a punt.

The sites BettingTop10 recommend are all licensed and regulated to operate within Australia’s borders and all have passed our stringent evaluation test in order to supply you with the best odds, quality service across a range of media (mobile, laptop and PC) and give you the most chance of success in your online betting experience.