It’s said that everyone has their vices, for some it’s smoking or drinking, and for others it is gambling. Like anything, gambling can become addictive, so Australia has laws in place to keep people safe and to prevent people from getting into financial difficulties due to addiction. Laws are always complicated, so here’s a breakdown of Australia’s gambling regulations.
The first thing to understand when it comes to gambling laws in Australia is that they are mostly aimed at the gambling operators rather than those who decide to partake in gambling. Many people believe that online gambling in Australia is illegal, but this isn’t actually the case. However, there is much more to it than it just being legal. Operating an online casino to the Australian public was legal before 2001; but in 2001 the Interactive Gambling Act was passed in order to protect the public from the potential harmful effects of online gambling. This law prohibits offering real money online interactive services to Australians, and advertising real money gambling to Australian citizens. However, this act does not make online casinos illegal, and does not contain laws that stop people from placing online bets. In simple terms, it is illegal for online sites to be operated within Australia, but it is not illegal for Australians to play licensed offshore sites. Basically, running a gambling site online is illegal, but playing online is not.
Australia has the highest gambling participation rate in the world, and there are many offline casinos that take advantage of this culture. Offline casino gambling is regulated under the Casino Control Act, this describes how casinos should operate and details state and territory guidelines. Another popular way to gamble in Australia is by using the pokies, these are accessible without even stepping foot in a casino. It’s almost impossible to walk into a pub or club and not see people playing these ‘adult arcade machines’. Regulatory laws are in place for pokies that pubs and clubs must adhere to, but anyone wishing to play pokies may do so. It’s your choice if you want to put in $5 or $500. Sports betting is also a way to gamble without entering a casino. With Australia’s love for sport, and the apparent love for gambling, its no surprise that sports betting is common. As with pokies, there is no limit to how much you can bet, and the laws surrounding sports betting are focused on the companies that offer the services.
As complicated as gambling laws sound, it’s actually quite simple, the laws are focused on the establishments and businesses that offer gambling services rather than the punters. With the current regulations in place, it would be quite difficult to break the law unless you were really trying to! Gambling: Australia says yes! (within reason of course).