When the first online casinos popped up in the mid 1990s, there wasn’t a legislative framework to rely on for Aussie players. However, the Australian government moved quickly to regulate online gambling in Australia and implemented the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 as a result. The IGA 2001 allows Australian players to gamble online provided the Internet casinos are operating offshore. So while we can’t play at online casinos located in Australia, we can still legally gamble online.
We detail what we mean by this and explain everything you need to know about Australian online gambling laws.
Best licensed casinos for Australian players
Interactive Gambling Act 2001
The Australian Government passed the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) in 2001, to target online gambling, and prevent Australian players from accessing internet casinos in Australia. The implementation of the Act had the main aim of preventing players from the negative consequences of online gambling, as well as protecting land-based venues – where the government gains a profit – from players moving online.
However, Aussie players have been playing at offshore online casinos legally since the implementation of the Act and although it technically goes against the framework of the IGA, since these casinos are located in International waters there isn’t anything the government can do. This means Aussie players can indeed gamble online legally.
Additionally, while the Act prevents Aussie players from playing at Australian-based online casinos, it doesn’t stop Australians from establishing online casinos and offering their services to offshore residents. However, the act also prevents advertising real money interactive gambling to Australian players and any Aussie operator caught doing so will receive a penalty of up to $220,000 per day.
Overall, Australians can gamble online but they need to be playing at offshore Internet casinos. Additionally Aussies can establish an online casino but can only offer their real money games to offshore players.
Offshore online casinos
While offshore online casinos can sound somewhat dodgy, there are many which are reputable, secure, and safe for Aussies to play at.
An offshore web casino is located overseas, many in the UK and Malta, and thanks to the Internet the sites accept players from around the world.
Unfortunately, many rogue operators have established online casinos to target players and steal their money – and since we are located in Australia with no real regulation of International online casinos to protect us it feels as though there is nothing we can do.
However, there is something we can do – play at verified and reputable offshore Internet casinos. These are governed by respectable jurisdictional licensers who have put the sites through an intense investigation to ensure they aren’t rogue. They then offer their logo for the online casino to display to confirm the site is indeed safe.
We have a list we recommend – each governed by respectable jurisdictional licensers – which offer pokies, progressives, table games, all legal and safe for Aussies to wager with real money on.
- Casino-Mate – licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority
- G’day Casino – licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and Curacao e-Gaming
- Royal Vegas Casino – licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority
- Guts Casino –licensed by Curacao e-Gaming and the Malta Gaming Authority
Aussie players can play at each of these sites legally and if any problem arises they can contact the top customer support via email, phone, and more, which each online casino offers.
Online gambling Australian state law
Each state and territory in Australia have their own legislative framework in which they adhere to.
The legislative frameworks for each state and territory are as follows:
- Australian Capital Territory – ACT Gambling and Racing Commission
- New South Wales – Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, as well as the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority
- Northern Territory – NT Licensing Commission
- Queensland – Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation
- South Australia – Independent Gambling Authority, as well as Consumer and Business Services
- Tasmania – Tasmanian Gaming Commission
- Victoria – Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation
- Western Australia – Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor
However, since Commonwealth laws overrule state and territory regulation, the IGA 2001 overrides any legislative framework and therefore states and territories in Australia don’t have much say when it comes to the regulation of online gambling.
Summary of Australian gambling laws
We’ve summarised the legislative framework surrounding online gambling and Australian players.
- Legal age to gamble online is 18 (as it is at land-based venues) irrespective of whether you are playing at offshore online casinos
- Operators can request proof of age – ID, passport etc.
- The IGA 2001 governs all state and territories and is the main framework for online gambling
- Australian players can gamble legally at offshore online casinos
- Aussie players can gamble on pokies, progressives, table games, casual games, live dealer casino games, and more online legally
- Aussie players can’t gamble at online casinos operating within Australian borders