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Gambling Laws in Australia

Jenna james | July 1, 2022 | Updated on: February 22nd, 2024

The gambling policy in Australia has been the responsibility of the States rather than the Commonwealth. The State and territory governments regulate and provides betting services and rely on the ensuing revenue. Online gambling has now changed the game. With casinos, bookmakers, online casinos, and sports betting sites, it can be challenging to keep up with what is on the approved list or not.

Are Australian Online Gambling Laws Enforced?

Even though online casino sites are technically off-limits for Aussies, there is lots of internet-based casino gaming happening in Oz. The gambling laws apply to the providers instead of players.

Benefits of National Licensing

Most online gambling providers are licensed in the Northern Territory, and it is one of the lengthy approval processes.

There are plenty of obstacles to jump for potential providers, though it is beneficial for AU players. They have confidence in risking their money, knowing they are using carefully vetted gambling sites in Australia.

The Northern Territory typically investigates the following when issuing licenses.

  • The Reputation
  • Financial background
  • The Current financial resources
  • The Proposed management

The Australian Communications and Media Authority manages the online gambling complaints. A few actions can be taken towards a ceasebased on the reports, starting with a written warning, and leading to considerable fines.

History of Australia’s Gambling Laws

1913 – World’s first automatic totalizator was invented in Australia by George Julius.

1916 – First Golden Casket Lottery was held in Queensland.

1956 – The Clubman poker machine was also introduced by Ainsworth Consolidated Industries.

1956 – After the release of the Clubman, slots were approved in New South Wales for pubs and clubs.

1973 – The first casino in Australia, the Wrest Point Hotel Casino, opens.

1976 – Australian Capital Territory approves the pokie machines

1985 – Tabcorp also opened its first outlet in Victoria.

1991 – Victoria also approves the pokie machines

1991 – Queensland goes to approve the pokie machines

1992 -South Australia follows suit to approve pokie machines

1996 – Interactive sports betting gets legalized in the Northern Territory

1997 – Tasmania then approves pokie machines

1998 – Northern Territory also approves pokie machines

2001 – Interactive Gambling Act passes into law.

Online Gambling Laws FAQs

Is gambling tax-free in Australia?

Apart from making real money doing something they enjoy, expert gamblers are lucky as their winnings are tax-free in Australia.

Is gambling a crime in Australia?

There is no single central statute regulating gambling activities in Australia. Instead, gambling in Australia is regulated at both the State/Territory and Federal level.

When was gambling made legal in Australia?

The first legal casino was launched in Hobart in 1973. Three others followed in Launceston, Alice Springs, and Darwin between 1979 and 1982.

Is gambling at home illegal in Australia?

Private and social gaming, such as playing blackjack or poker at home with friends, is lawful in the ACT. While wagers can be made on these private games, there are restrictions to ensure that commercial gaming is not operated under the guise of “private” gaming.

Who regulates gambling in Australia?

The ACT Racing and Gambling Commission is an independent statutory authority responsible for controlling and regulating all gambling, racing, and betting activities in the ACT to ensure they are conducted with honesty, integrity and free from criminal influence.

What constitutes gambling in Australia?

In common terms, for an activity to be classified as gambling in Australia, it must involve betting of money or valuable consideration of real-world value on the outcome of an event determined.