Are online betting sites legal in Australia? Yes they are, and are regulated by the Gambling Regulation Act. In this page, we’ll talk about recommended legal betting sites, all of which are licensed and legal – meaning that they are obligated to provide a safe and fair service to their customers.
Legal Betting Sites in Australia
Best legal betting sites in Australia
Legal Online Betting Sites
Although there are a multitude of different gambling operators in Australia, there are still a huge number of regulations by which they have to abide and which are in place to protect the punter. For starters, it needs to be licensed with an appropriate betting authority, with the Northern Territory Racing Commission the most common such example. Most sites are also governed by a particular code of practice, which dictates how they should run their operations. These regulatory bodies help to ensure that all licensed Australian betting sites are acting in line with the rules and regulations set out at a state and federal level.
The aforementioned rules and regulations cover off a whole lot of different aspects of a bookmaker’s operations. Below, we’ve gone into detail about some of the different areas which they impact.
👉Bonuses and Promotions: Betting Sites are allowed to offer certain promotions to customers, but there are a number of restrictions on what and in particular how these are advertised. For example, betting sites are not allowed to advertise their promotions to users who don’t yet have an account with them – something which would act as an inducement for that potential customer to sign up. Instead, as a punter you can only see what promos are offered by a particular bookie after you have signed up.
👉Online Casinos: In Australia, bookmakers are not allowed to offer anything which is considered a casino game online. This is a significant point of difference from the rules in many other countries, with casino games such as blackjack and roulette relatively commonplace on lots of international betting sites.
👉Responsible gambling: All licensed Australian bookmakers also offer some guidance with regard to responsible gambling, and have many protective measures in place themselves. Typically they will provide links to responsible gambling websites for those who find themselves with a gambling problem, while things such as deposit limits and the ability to take a break or lock one’s account can also be found with most bookmakers.
👉Live betting: Live betting is allowed in many parts of the world, and while it is a part of many bookmakers’ services in Australia, it is not legal to do it online. This is obviously something of a conundrum for online betting sites, but there is a way around it; rather than being able to place a live bet directly on the website, you can instead look at live odds online, then place a call to the bookmaker to place your bet in that way.
List of Recommended Legal Online Betting Sites
- PlayUp – licensed by Northern Territory Racing Commission
- BoomBet – licensed by Northern Territory Racing Commission
- WinnersBet – licensed by Racing Victoria
- TopSport – licensed by Liquor & Gaming NSW
- Draftstars – licensed by Northern Territory Racing Commission
- Picklebet – licensed by Northern Territory Racing Commission
- Bet365 – licensed by Northern Territory Racing Commission
- Palmerbet – licensed by Liquor & Gaming NSW
- Unibet Australia – licensed by Northern Territory Racing Commission
Have you got a specific question surrounding something to do with the laws and regulations surrounding betting sites in Australia? Take a look through the list of our most commonly asked questions below, and hopefully our answers help you to find out what you’re looking for.
🏉Q:Is online gambling legal in Australia?
A: Yes, online gambling is legal in Australia.
However, it’s still important to ensure that the particular betting operator that you are intending to bet with abides by the laws and regulations which they are legally obliged to follow. Check that they are licensed by an appropriate authority by either heading to the AMCA website and taking a look at the list of bookmakers in Australia and by whom they are licensed, or go to directly to the website in question and check the details at the bottom of their home page, or on their ‘About’ page.
🎰Q: Are online casinos legal in Australia?
A: No, online casinos are not legal in Australia.
This includes things such as slot machines and other casino games, and refers to those which use real money. Of course, real-life casinos are legal and indeed not uncommon in Australia, but in the virtual world the opposite is the case. There are numerous sites which you may stumble across which offer these kinds of products, but these are most likely operated by an offshore company. The rules here are pretty simple: if a website is offering casino games online using real money, you can be pretty confident that it’s not a legitimate site.
🏇Q: What online gambling is legal in Australia?
A: The online gambling which is legal in Australia pertains to sport, racing and handful of other things such as entertainment, politics and various other novelties.
On most major bookmaker sites you’ll find all of these different things, and with these websites licensed with one of the relevant authorities in Australia you can be confident that whatever it is that they are offering is above board. In contrast, if you come across a site offering things like online casino games such as slot machines or similar, then the opposite is true and you should tread with caution.
🧷Q: Are Australian betting sites safe?
A: If they are legal then yes, Australian betting sites are certainly safe.
That’s why the multitude of laws and regulations discussed throughout the course of this article exist; to ensure the protection of the customer. After all, if you’re depositing and playing with your own real money, then you want to be confident that everything is above board with the betting operator that you are using. As mentioned above, to ensure that the bookmaker you’re using is indeed legal, then simply check out their offerings and most importantly, ensure that they are licensed by one of the appropriate authorities.
🌐Q: Is live betting legal in Australia?
A: According to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, live online betting is illegal in Australia.
Despite that, it’s become an increasingly popular way to bet in recent years, and though not all legal online betting sites in Australia offer it, a growing number do. So how does that work, you may be wondering. The key here is that it’s illegal if it’s online, but the Australian bookmakers who offer live betting markets do not do so online. Unlike bets which are placed prior to an event, which you can simply place on the website, all live bets in Australia need to be placed over the phone. Bookmakers will typically make this easy enough, with a live betting section providing the appropriate phone number, and when you call you’ll speak to an operator who will place the bet for you. This prevents impulsive live betting, with the need to actually call up and place the bet forcing people to step back and think prior to placing a bet, rather than just doing it on a whim – something which is particularly easy when everything is available at the click of a button online – and ensures that these companies are abiding by Australian law.
🤑Q: Are sign up bonuses legal in Australia?
A: Sign up bonuses are not legal in Australia, no.
Up until relatively recently they were a fairly common way for bookmakers to entice new customers, but they are no longer legal. That doesn’t mean that bonuses in general are not allowed (though they are fairly heavily regulated). Indeed, there are still other examples of promotions, many of which are available for new customers – such as a percentage of your first deposit being matched, for example. In terms of the bonuses of old which may have seen bookmakers simply give new customers a bonus bet upon their sign-up – something which was evidently a significant attraction for potential customers – you won’t be able to find these types of things.
🌏Q: Is sports betting legal in all Australian states?
A: Sports betting is legal in all Australian states, yes.
Wherever you are in the country, you’re legally allowed to bet on sports, but that doesn’t mean that the rules and regulations are the same no matter where you are. In fact, there are some fairly substantial differences from state to state in terms of what can and can’t be offered by bookmakers. Much of this relates to promotions, with these regulated differently in different parts of the country, while there are also certain differences in advertising laws and various other things. Each state has their own gambling authorities which essentially have their own rules, and what you can and can’t do relates both to where you are, as well as in which state or territory the betting site you are using is licensed and governed.
Why Should You Use Only Legal and Licensed Betting Sites
Are you still wondering why you should be so careful about ensuring that you only bet with licensed betting sites? Check out this list below, which lists not only why you should bet with licensed companies, but also why you should avoid the alternative.
|✔️Why should you choose to bet with a licensed betting site?||❌Why should you avoid betting with an unlicensed betting site?|
|There are numerous laws and regulations which govern licensed betting sites, meaning you can be confident that they are acting in an appropriate manner.||There is a lack of regulations governing unlicensed betting sites, which means that you cannot be sure whether they will behave in the way in which you expect.|
|Australian law ensures that you are protected should an unforeseen event, such as you not being paid out after a win, occur.||Among these unexpected and unwanted surprises could be that your winnings aren’t paid out, withdrawals don’t successfully arrive where they are supposed to, and any number of other things.|
|Responsible gambling – licensed Australian betting sites are required by law to provide information about and links to responsible gambling authorities.||Since they are not licensed, these sites have no obligation to promote responsible gambling by linking to responsible gambling sites, or providing bet limits, the ability to close your account temporarily etc.|
|Customer support agents will typically – although not always – be located in Australia.||Customer support is likely to be inferior to licensed betting sites, if it even exists at all – these sites are under no obligation to offer reasonable help for customers.|
|You can be confident that the money which you deposit into your betting account is in safe hands.||The risk you take with these sites is entirely on you – if you aren’t paid your winnings, for example, you have no legal recourse because the site isn’t licensed.|
|By the same token, you can also be confident that if and when you withdraw any money from your betting account, it will arrive safely where you intend it to.||It’s unlikely that the odds offered on unlicensed betting sites will be competitive with their licensed counterparts.|
|Australian betting sites are a source of employment for many in the country.||There is likely to be limited information about these sites, making it hard to validate their legitimacy.|
|You can rest easy in the knowledge that the betting site which you are using is acting according to the code or codes of practice with which they are affiliated.||These sites are under no obligation to act in accordance with a pre-existing code of practice.|
We only list licensed Australian betting sites
Australian Gambling Law Explained
As mentioned earlier, there is a lot to digest when it comes to Australian Gambling Law. It’s a complicated area, particularly given that it can vary from state to state, but the regulations are for the most part in place to protect the consumer and provides a set of guidelines by which all legal betting sites in Australia need to operate. The fact that these laws exist is what separates licensed betting sites from unlicensed ones, and provides you with a valuable safety net.
Betting Sign Up Bonuses Law
As of relatively recently, it is illegal for licensed betting operators in Australia to offer sign up bonuses. This essentially refers to bonuses that may be used as an inducement to potential customers. For example, in the past it may have been possible for a bookmaker to offer new customers a bonus bet when they signed up, which of course acts as a means by which these companies could entice new punters. That is no longer legal.
That does not mean, however, that bookmakers can’t offer bonuses at all. Existing customers are still allowed to be offered bonuses and promotions – it’s just that these bonuses cannot be handed out simply for someone signing up to the site. There are also regulations around which promotions can be advertised; clearly if a company didn’t offer a sign up bonus but had a terrific promotion for existing customers, this would function in much the same way as a sign up bonus in that it would be an inducement to attract new customers. As a result, there are limits on what bonuses can be advertised to people who aren’t already signed up with a certain bookmaker.
Live Betting Law
Live betting is a complex part of what is an already complex system of laws which govern betting in Australia. The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 stipulates that there are a number of different online services which it is illegal for betting services to offer. Live or in-play betting is one such example. There is, however, a way around this.
According to the aforementioned Act, live betting falls under the umbrella of prohibited online services. It’s for that reason that you will notice that even on licensed, reputable betting sites, you won’t be able to place a live bet directly on the website. You will likely also notice, however, that on many of these sites there is still a live or in-play section of the website complete with odds on events which are already underway.
This might seem counterintuitive, but the way betting companies are able to get around the law is by providing live betting services with the proviso that bets can only be placed over the phone. This way they are able to legally offer these services, albeit in a way that makes them more difficult to access than they would be if these bets were able to be placed online.
Betting Advertising Law
There are a huge number of regulations governing betting advertising in Australia. As many have noticed, however, the number of gambling ads on television has rapidly increased in recent years, and there are consistently calls for more stringent regulations to be placed upon bookmakers to prevent too many ads. For the time being, however, the rules are what they are, and despite the plethora of advertisements to which we are exposed, there are plenty of advertising rules to which bookmakers need to abide.
For example, no ads are allowed on television during programs classified G or lower between the hours of 6.00 and 8.30am, and 4.00 to 7.00pm, while they are also prohibited during other programs directed at children throughout virtually the entire day (5am – 8.30pm). This, of course, wouldn’t prose a significant problem to gambling companies regardless, whose primary target markets wouldn’t typically be the primary audience for these programs and they would likely be better served spending their money on advertising elsewhere regardless. Further laws were also introduced in 2018 restricting gambling companies from advertising during online streaming of live sport between the hours of 5am and 8.30pm.
These laws are intended to prevent excessive exposure to gambling, particularly to children, and with regards to that they certainly accomplish that goal. There are, however, still consistent calls for the number of gambling advertisements to be further reduced, and it would not come as a major surprise if these laws become more stringent in the coming years.
Online Casinos Law
Real-life casinos are relatively common in Australia, with a couple of major companies having huge casinos in major cities, while smaller venues also often have some form of casino-type games available. However, this does not extend to the virtual world. Online casinos and the games which fall under that umbrella are illegal in Australia, meaning that bookmakers are unable to offer things like slot machines, blackjack and various other casino games which are relatively prevalent on international betting websites.
Of course, this applies only to those which use real money. There are certain examples of websites which offer these types of gambling services but which only use play money with zero actual real-life value. In terms of online casinos with whom you can deposit and play casino games with your actual money, however, these are prohibited.
As mentioned, slot machines and blackjack are a couple of examples of the illegal games, while plenty of other such as roulette, poker and craps also fall into this category. This means that if you stumble upon a gambling website in Australia which offers any of these services, you can be pretty confident that they are not operating within the realms of the law.
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- Legal Betting Sites in Australia