Gambling Guide to Australia

GambleScope Research Team

Australia is the known for being the sixth largest country in the world country encompassing the island of Tasmania. Gambling is a widespread activity in this part of the world and something that more than 80% of the population participate in, in one way or another. This is the highest rate globally. Since the first casino was opened in Hobart in 1973, the total employment in the gambling industry in the region has steadily increased with the nation having more gamblers per capita than any other country in the world. The big takeaway from this is that Australians, as much as any other nation, like to gamble.

The Legal Status of Gambling in Australia

Even though historically slots have thrived in New South Wales and brought a valuable revenue stream to the state government, gambling was primarily banned in Victoria by the dawn of the 1990s. In 1991, gambling was legalised in Victoria by the state government and allowed the establishment of slots venues across this part of the country. This move brought with it a significant boost to the local economy, which was having difficulties at that time.

In 1991, Casino Control Act came into force, which led to the establishment of the Melbourne’s Crown Casino – now the largest gambling complex in the Southern Hemisphere. In 2001, the Interactive Gambling Act was passed. This prevented Australian-based gambling operators from offering specific services to Australians, which include restrictions upon live in-game betting and the prohibition of online casinos.

Though these laws prevented domestic firms from operating virtual casino games to Australian players; it left plenty of room for Australian punters to play at offshore gambling sites. However, no individual has ever been prosecuted under the Act.

In 2010, there were more than 200,000 poker machines in Australia. Nearly half of those resided in New South Wales – about 96,000. Now there are dozens of casinos nationwide including at least one in each state or territory.

Current Gambling Laws in Force

The pre-1970s prohibition of card games included card games in casinos. However, public response led to a repeal of that law and gambling was officially legalised in Australia in 1973. Also, the Australian government considered the revenue that could be gained from regulating and taxing online casinos, as well as the indirect benefits to the tourism industry.

Every state and every territory has its own regulations when it comes to online and land-based casino gambling. This means that different gambling games are more popular in some states than in others.

The issue of online gambling became a factor in the 1990s like everywhere else as Internet casinos, and poker sites came into being. The Commonwealth Parliament of Australia then enacted the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act to limit the real money Internet games available to citizens. Ultimately, the government has had a difficult time enforcing the laws, as international online casinos continue to attract many Australian players. The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 was amended in 2017. This necessitated additional licensing of gambling sites by the Australian authorities and added ways for gamblers to opt-out to guard themselves against problem gambling. More so, the amendment also forbids offers like free bets and prevents Australian from taking advantage of in-play betting.

Online gambling is allowed in Australia. However, domestic websites are prohibited from receiving Australian players according to Australian law, though foreign sites are not under obligation to follow this law.

According to the Australian law, the legal minimum age to participate in gambling activities either online or land-based gambling site in Australia is 18.

Who Regulates Australia’s Gaming Industry?

Although the Commonwealth law oversees Australia’s gaming industry as a whole, much of the regulation has been assigned to the states and territories. These include the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation; the Northern Territory's Licensing Commission; and the Australian Capital Territory's Gambling and Racing Commission; the South Australia's Independent Gambling Authority; the New South Wales Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.

What is the Tax Situation on Winnings from Gambling?

Australia does not tax winnings from gambling, in fact, Australia is one of the best nations regarding zero gambling taxes. Gamblers are not under any tax obligations win or lose. The country does not consider gambling as a profession but as a game of luck and recreational activity. The government, therefore, considers winnings from gambling to balance with losses. However, gambling operators, such as betting companies and casino owners run a business and are taxed accordingly. Every state and territory have individual rates of taxation, but gamblers pay nothing. Here are three main reasons for that:

Is gambling a popular activity in this Country?

Yes, gambling is a widespread activity in Australia. Furthermore, Australians undoubtedly enjoy a wide range of gambling activities which includes casino games, sports betting and online poker. Gambling is popular in cash and tournament games, and Australian players have the opportunity to play in some of the worlds largest casinos.

How Safe is Gambling in Australia?

Gambling is very safe in Australia. Land-based gamblers have little to nothing to fear from the Australia government. Players are free to use any of these online sites with no fear of prosecution.

Options and Venues Worth Exploring

Landbased Venues

Australia has many land-based gambling venues. Some good choices include

Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex: this casino offers lots of Slots with a variety of staking options.

Crown Perth: this casino offers lots of casino games including all of the latest slot machines and a multitude of card and table games.

Jupiter’s Hotel and Casino: if you are looking for a casino that offers both a large casino and also hotel accommodation. Then Jupiter’s Hotel and Casino would be a great place to visit and stay.

The Star Casino: This casino caters for players of all levels.

Online Sites

A number of strong gambling platform brands are popular with Australians, which include: Bwin, Betfred, William Hill, Coral, Sky Bet Sportsbook, Bovada, and BetOnline Sportsbook to name a few.

Overall Rating for Australia

In comparison with other countries,  Australia rates a very high 4.5 out of a possible 5. It’s liberal gaming laws, popular venues and tax-free status when it comes to gambling makes it a perfect place to wager on casino games, cards and sports events.