Online casinos accepting players from Australia
That commonality is also met with opposition to some forms of gambling by social health advocates as well as competing interests in some sectors. Australians are notoriously the most prolific bettors on the planet based on per capita spend, with Singaporeans a far distant second.
According to over three decades worth of data published each year by the Queensland Government Statistician's Office, on average, Australian adults bet nearly $11,000 per person, each year. Taking in data from H2 Gambling Capital, we see the trend in betting and gambling continue to increase over the predictable future.
So how does online gambling fit into the picture?
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On August 9, 2017, the Australian parliament approved the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 (IGA) and submitted it to the Governor General for Royal Assent. It was promulgated on the 16th and set to come into effect on 13 September 2017. All publically traded offshore companies that had previously offered online gambling, betting or poker pulled out of the market without delay.
The bill provided for combined criminal and civil penalties of up to $13 million for violating provisions of the law. These only apply to providers of gaming services, not consumers. Australians are still free to bet at offshore facilities.
Several reputable and some less than savory private online operators had anticipated the change and either launched new gaming sites and casinos or ramped up efforts to attract Australian players.
In June 2018, the Interactive Amendment (Lottery Betting) Bill 2018 amended the IGA yet again making keno and "synthetic lotteries" forbidden services to provide.
Licensing and Regulation in Australia
The regulatory bodies in charge of wagering and betting in Australia are the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor (Western Australia) and the Independent Gambling Authority (Southern Australia). There are also five independent regulators and two ministerial directed departments of government regionally. Federal police, communications, and financial authorities (AML) can also take part in certain elements of gambling regulation and enforcement.
Licensed commercial operators are allowed to offer fixed-odds sportsbetting and lottery services in Australia.
In-play sports betting is prohibited but the practice is allowed for horse betting.
Tasmania and the Northern Territory offer betting exchange licenses.
The Northern Territory is still authorized to grant interactive gaming licenses to non-Australian facing operators but nearly all licensing activity stopped with the USA's UIGEA of 2006.
Legal online gambling in Australia
There are currently no laws or regulations prohibiting Australians from betting online at licensed sites or offshore casinos, sports betting, and poker sites not licensed in the country.
Australia started out as an online-friendly country in the 1990's and even issued online casino licenses in Victoria and Tasmania for a time. However, a Productivity Commission Report in 1999 turned the tide and a one-year moratorium on new licenses soon came into effect.
The Interactive Gambling Act - 2001 sought to limit Australians' access to online gaming and betting. Some considered the law to be full of gray areas and loopholes. This condition left the market open to all international operators with offices and servers located offshore.
In 2008, there was an initiative to block the ISPs of online casinos but the efforts were unsuccessful.
The IGA and subsequent amendments do not create, modify, or confirm any prohibition against people in Australia gambling at offshore sites. However, as is the case in most instances of prohibition rather than regulation, citizens enjoy no protection provided by their government and are left to fend for themselves if they make a bad choice, or if a formerly good offshore internet betting site suddenly goes bad.
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The Federal and regional governments have chosen, so far, not to license online casinos and poker sites, nor offer player protections. That makes it all the more important for consumers to keep themselves informed, as well as arm themselves with the tools to collect their own funds should a disagreement occur.
Licensing - Considering the fact it took more than a decade and a half for parliament to clearly define what the IGA 2001 was supposed to accomplish, we don't expect the regional governments to race to be the first to offer online casino licenses in the country. That means you will need to depend on another country's regulator for consumer protection.
While some jurisdictions are certainly better than others, about all you can do is confirm that a site is indeed licensed. Most Curacao licensed online casinos provide a clickable link in the footer of their website that will bring up a license validator.
Secure Platform - All personal and financial data should be transmitted over an encrypted secure socket layer (SSL-128 or 256). That is always the case for the casino's protection as well as your own. However, if you get a browser warning that a website is not secure, or that a security certificate has expired, click away rather than proceeding.
Payment Methods - This can be a difficult area for some new players or those coming back online after the big companies pulled out. The good news is that casinos accepting Australian players have solutions for you.
While Neteller, Skrill, and Paysafecard may no longer be an option, there is always something you can use, like Neosurf. You may need to deposit using a credit or debit card and withdraw to your bank account. It's always changing in soft-prohibition markets and a quick chat with customer service will get you up to speed or up to date. Bitcoin anyone?
Player reviews - In addition to reading review sites, it's always good to visit player forums to get a more up to the moment perspective. Other players will freely share their experiences and it's easy enough to spot a shill or a sore loser.Author: Lars Jones
Australia Legal Gambling FAQ
Not only did the big name casinos and poker sites leave the market when the law was defined in 2017, but more and more game providers are also leaving too. The reason for this has to do with licensing on two levels.
Major regulators like the UKGC and Malta Gaming Authority frown upon developers and providers that service unregulated markets. As a rule, if a software product (Microgaming, NetEnt, Pragmatic Play, etc.) is licensed by the UKGC, that provider will usually not license their games to an operator who allows Australian players.
Yes, of course! Online casinos in Australia still have to compete for your business. If you shop around a little bit and compare offers you'll be able to choose welcome bonuses and reloads to extend playtime and increase your odds of winning a jackpot.
Yes. Nearly all online casinos now offer Adobe Flash and HTML5 casino games that you can play in any web browser, even on mobile. The mobile lobby might have fewer games in it, but every type of game will be there and almost all new games are released in HTML5 now. Android and iOS devices such as iPads and iPhones are also supported with or without apps at most casinos.
No. You'll be able to find online casinos with every sort of game imaginable including pokies, classic slots, video poker, bingo, keno, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, you name it. Many live dealerstreams still serve Australian players and dedicated poker sites with huge player pools in the US and elsewhere are happy to entertain your action. The tax regime is not terrible for licensed Aussie bookmakers, so home-based odds are not at all bad. But you can still bet offshore if you want to, especially if you prefer in-play betting.
No. If you take a few minutes to study the cashier section of a prospective online casino and familiarize yourself with the advantages and limitations of certain payment methods you should have no problems.
When in doubt, simply shout out! A customer service representative will be able to help you with any questions and possibly suggest some unadvertised methods to let you get back to gaming or enjoying your winnings as soon as possible.
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