If you are looking to start playing at online casinos in Australia, you are probably concerned about whether it is legal to do so. The answer is not exactly straightforward, so we will go through this in detail with you.
Firstly, we will discuss how online gambling is regulated in Australia. The relevant legislation is the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (the IGA), which states that it is an offence to provide certain gambling services to a customer physically present in Australia via the internet. However, this does not immediately mean that all online gambling is illegal. For example, there are exceptions for certain licensed services such as sports betting, lotteries, and online wagering.
What is illegal online gambling?
There are certain gambling services that are not legal in Australia, and these are any operators that offer the following (with real money involved):
- slots (also known as pokies)
- casino games such as poker, blackjack, and roulette
- 'in-play' betting on sports events
- sports betting services that do not hold an Australian licence
- betting on the outcome of a lottery
Note that if an online casino is offering these games with no real money, then it is perfectly legal in Australia.
Can I play online casinos in Australia?
While it is illegal for gambling operators to run in Australia, there is no law regarding Australians playing and winning money at online casinos. If you can find an online casino to play in Australia, it is not illegal for you to play there. However, you must be aware that although the online casino is currently accessible in Australia, it may be blocked by the government in the future.
Is it illegal to play online casinos in Australia?
There is nothing in the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA) that prohibits an Australian from accessing, playing, or winning at an online casino. The IGA is aimed at stopping online casino sites from operating within the country, as opposed to regulating what Australian players do. Keep in mind that this is not legal advice, and you should consult the IGA yourself (link here) and also check for any amendments or revisions to the Act.
Can I withdraw winnings from online casinos in Australia?
Yes, online casinos that are operational in Australia allow cash outs to Australian bank accounts. You may wonder why this is allowed, if online casinos aren't legal here. Let's give some context so you can better understand this.
The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 makes it very clear that is illegal to operate an Australian-based online casino, as well as for offshore casinos to accept Australian customers. However, the legislation is very weak, and there are plenty of online casinos that continue to allow Australian users to play without any penalty or consequence.
In the USA, there was new gambling legislation passed in 2006, that targeted banks instead of the online casino operators. This law made it illegal for financial institutions to process any transactions to or from online casino sites. This made it much more difficult for players to deposit or withdraw money, and it helped decrease online gambling in the USA.
In Australia, there is currently no law against banks processing transactions from an online casino, therefore you will be able to easily withdraw your winnings.
To summarise it all, online casinos are not legal to operate in Australia. However, there are still many offshore sites that offer their services to Australians, and the government does very little to prevent this. As a player, you can legally play at those online casinos, since there is nothing in the IGA stating that it is illegal to access or play at those sites. You will also have no issues depositing or withdrawing money from online casinos in Australia.
Online casinos are not allowed to operate in Australia, however there are many offshore sites that accept Australian customers. You will be able to access them, play games, and withdraw winnings with no issues.
Yes, you can gamble online in Australia. Some services such as sports betting and lotteries are perfectly legal. Others such as online casinos and pokies are not allowed to operate in Australia, but there are still many sites that do. As a player, you will not receive any punishments if you are caught gambling online at a casino.
Yes, there are many online casinos in Australia, but you need to be careful that you use a legitimate and safe site.
Yes, you can find lots of online casinos that offer pokies in Australia. You need to be careful that you choose a legitimate site.