Gambling Laws In Australia
The long-standing law governing online gambling in Australia has been the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001, also known as the IGA. The original writing of the IGA failed to clarify the legal status of all facets of online gambling, with online sports betting being the only platform explicitly defined as legal. This left the online casino and poker sectors in a gray area, allowing offshore providers to service Aussie players. The law was directed towards the owner operator side of the gambling market.
The IGA makes it illegal for anyone who owns and operates an online casino within Australia's borders to offer their services to local residents. It also prohibits the marketing and advertising of their services to local residents, with hefty fines in place for violators. Online gambling operators based inside the country's borders must only accept players from approved regions outside of Australia.
Now, a much-anticipated revision to the 2001 law has materialized in the form of the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016. The amendment has been successfully passed through all parts of the Commonwealth and is set to become law. The revised bill prohibits unlicensed international operators from servicing Aussie players. Unfortunately, the legislation fails to make provisions for how brands can acquire approval to enter the local market. The new IGA imposes a strict ban on iGaming providers and forced several big names like PokerStars and 888Poker to withdraw from Australia. Under the new law, online gambling becomes more difficult for local players. Anyone who gambles with an offshore brand is doing so at their own risk. These restrictions do not apply to online sports betting. It is legal to both own an online sportsbook and allow Australia's residents to place wagers. So as long as Aussie punters seek online casino and poker gambling at destinations based outside of the country, they are not at risk of violating any gambling laws in Australia.
How Do I Know if an Aussie Friendly Gambling Site is Legal and Safe?
Not every online gambling site that welcomes players from Australia is legally sanctioned, secure or high quality. It pays to be discerning when selecting the destination at which you intend to gamble online. To save you some time and effort, and to assist those who are newer to online gambling and may not know what to look for when vetting an Internet gambling destination, we have placed each of the brands we have included in this guide through an intense review process. We have very stringent requirements for inclusion in our guide, and we wanted you to see just how thorough we actually are. The following list is a small sampling of the elements of an online gambling site that we scrutinize to determine the value of an online gambling site to the industry. In order to be included in our guide, an online gambling site must possess these qualities:
- Legitimate licensing and regulatory oversight from a respected jurisdiction that has legalized online gambling for their region
- Compliance and fair gaming certifications resulting from third party audits
- Sophisticated security profile that includes advanced data encryption, firewall and anti-virus protection, fraud prevention technology and a technical staff to monitor these protocols
- A robust banking suite that offers multiple payment and withdrawal options, and supports multiple currencies including (AUD Australian Dollars)
- A competent, responsive and knowledgeable customer support team
- Comprehensive and reputable software solution for supporting their gambling infrastructure and services
- Industry leading features that demonstrate a commitment to providing their customers with the optimal online gambling experience
- Legitimate and generous bonus offers that are attainable and beneficial to players
- A reputation throughout the online gambling community for being a trusted betting destination that treats their customers exceptionally
There are actually many more elements of the businesses that we evaluate, but the list is far too lengthy to list in its entirety.
The Future of Online Gambling in Australia
The future does not currently look bright for online gambling in Australia. However, there is a chance for the new ban to be overturned. The Australian Senate’s Environment and Communications References Committee heard from local players, lawmakers and other stakeholders on the current state of online poker in the country. Arguments were presented on why legalized online poker is a much better option than the imposed ban on iGaming. The Committee is preparing a report detailing the findings of their inquiry into the current market and is expected to publish that report by September. If the report finds that legalized online poker is indeed the better option, the potential return of legal iGaming in Australia increases in likelihood.
We are big advocates of responsible gambling. If anyone feels they are losing control or that gambling has become more than just entertainment, please visit the government problem gambling website for Australians and get some help.