If you are considering signing up to and playing at an online casino in Australia, you might be wondering whether it is legal to do so. The answer is not exactly straightforward, so let's go through this in detail.

Firstly, let's 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 via the internet, to a customer physically present in Australia. However, this does not immediately rule out all online gambling as 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
  • Scratchies
  • '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.

Why are online casinos banned in Australia?

This is a great question, since physical casinos are perfectly legal, and lotteries and online betting on sports is legal. The short answer is that there are concerns regarding gambling addiction, fraud, underage gambling and taxation issues. To read a more in-depth explanation, see this article on why online casinos are banned in Australia.

Can I play online casinos in Australia?

While it is illegal for gambling sites to operate in Australia, there is no law regarding Australians playing at or winning money at online casinos. If you are able to 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, there is a possibility it could 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, registering, 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 might wonder why this is allowed, if online casinos aren't legal here. Here is 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 which 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.

Are online casinos banned 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. 

Can you gamble online in Australia?

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. 

Are there any online casinos in Australia?

Yes, there are many online casinos in Australia, but you need to be careful that you use a legitimate and safe site.

Can you play online pokies in Australia?

Yes, you can find lots of online casinos that offer pokies in Australia. You need to be careful that you choose a legitimate site.

About the author 

Peter Clayton

Peter is one of Indivisible Gaming's developers and has been working with us since 2015. When he isn't busy working on an upcoming game, he loves writing about all the games that he has played and tested. His experience in the industry is second to none, and we are grateful to have him on our team.