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What is the legal status of gambling in Australia?

Like many countries around the world, the legal status regarding gambling activities within Australia remains a little murky and rather confusing at times for those who live within the country’s boundaries.

The main takeaway from the law that has been provided is that online gambling is permitted, although the rules are not quite clear when thinking about those that wish to play and place bets on a variety of different things.

What is the current state of play in Australia?

Currently, the main form of legislation in regard to betting activities in Australia comes in the form of the Interactive Gambling Act which was enacted in 2001. However, this is where it gets a little unclear as the Act only covers the actions of the companies within the country that provide gambling services and does not cover those who wish to place wagers. The law also forbids the marketing of unregulated online forms of gambling, but there is no law that covers the action of players at gaming sites.

Interactive Gambling Act has limitations

Additionally, the Interactive Gambling Act only allows for sports betting, racing and lotteries to be considered legal. Nonetheless, there is a way for players to be able to enjoy a range of online casino games, such as slots, poker and other classic table games.

This is because there are no legal restrictions based on the games that are available to players. For instance, bettors would be able to play roulette at the 777 online casino platform and be well within their rights to do so as it is not considered illegal. The only limitation is that companies that offer these games are not able to advertise to Australian residents, meaning that there are no licensed sites offering poker and casino games in the country and resulting in punters being required to use offshore operators.

Australia is regulated in the same way the US is

When taking a look at how gambling is being regulated within Australia, the very same approach can be found when looking at how the United States of America is starting to embrace wagering activities such as sports betting.

For those unaware, Australia is a country that does not have an entity that has overall power when it comes down to gambling regulations, thus leaving it to be regulated at Federal Level that comes with certain statutes, as well as at the State or Territory level.

The country is divided into eight separate States and Territories, with each of their jurisdictions responsible for regulating the gambling activities that take place within its borders. This is how it is broken down within the country:

  • Australian Capital Territory — ACT Gambling and Racing Commission
  • Northern Territory — Licensing Commission
  • New South Wales — Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing
  • South Australia — Independent Gambling Authority
  • Queensland — Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation
  • Victoria — Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation
  • Western Australia — Department of Racing, Gaming, and Liquor
  • Tasmania — Tasmanian Gaming Commission

Conclusion

As can be seen, the law regarding gambling in Australia is one that can provide some confusion, however it is one that must be considered rather favourable to punters compared to the operators who provide the services within the nation.

There is no law that states that online gambling is illegal, and the country appears to go after operators more than it does players.

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