Australia’s Online Casino Reputation

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Except for The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001, no single authority or statute is in place to regulate all gambling activities in Australia. Instead, each state/territory is allowed to regulate gambling at both the federal and State/Territory level.

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As such, each of Australia’s 8 mainland territories and States separately regulates all gambling activities occurring within their respective borders. Additionally, a range of Federal statutes have been put in place to cover some aspects of gambling activities throughout Australia.

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The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001

Regarding online gambling, The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 was introduced by the commonwealth parliament of Australia on 28th 2001 to prevent online gambling operators from offering ‘real-money’ internet interactive gambling to Australians living in Australia. The Act solely targeted the operators themselves. It meant that while gambling operators couldn’t advertise or offer “real-money” interactive web-based/online gambling to the citizens of Australia within the country, it wasn’t against the law for citizens to access and use these services. Therefore, Australians could freely play at any online casino located and licensed beyond the borders of Australia. Also, Australia-based betting firms could offer any gambling services to gamers located outside Australia as long as they weren’t in the so-called “designated territory/country.”

If betting companies failed to observe the stipulations of the Act, they would pay over 1 million dollars in fines for every day they left their online platforms open. However, the IGA was quick to specify that an operator could be let off any relevant wrongdoing even if an Australian citizen signed up and gambled on their sites – the operator just needed to prove they were not aware, with all due diligence, that their platform was being used by an Australian citizen. Basically, this meant that operators had to put warnings, address checks, and alerts in place before sign up and thereafter.

Exceptions to The IGA

There were few exceptions to The IGA that permitted very specific forms of online gambling occurring underground. A good example is sports gambling, which is permitted through licensed operators provided the betting activity takes place BEFORE the start of that specific event. Why? It’s because the IGA specifies that online betting can only be illegal if it qualifies to be interactive, meaning pre-event gambling is permitted whereas in-play isn’t. This also permits online lotteries to operate freely because they don’t belong in the instant-win scratch cards category. Minor changes were made to The IGA in 2017, pushing many gambling companies out of the country.

There are a few other loopholes in the IGA that are beyond the scope of this article.

 

Anyway, we started by mentioning that each/territory is free to pass its own laws and regulations regarding gambling. Over 60 such Acts are already in existence across the 8 states/territories, with 14 of them in New South Wales alone. Tasmania has just two, the fewest:

Gaming Control Act of 1993

TT-Line Gaming Act of 1993

You can find a comprehensive list of all laws in every state/territory here.

Radical changes to the gambling laws in the country as being discussed as we speak. They mostly target the full implementation of the NCPF (National Consumer Protection Framework).