Useful Information on Online Gambling Laws in Australia
From a player's perspective, Australian online gambling laws are simple and easy to understand. There are no laws that prohibit you from placing bets online. The law does not criminalize the act of playing online games, betting on sports or gambling. However, finding a safe online space to play is the tricky part. There are numerous online gambling platforms that accept Australian dollars in deposits and withdrawals, but you have to understand online gambling laws before playing.
Although gambling laws in Australia have traditionally been the responsibility of the individual States, the Commonwealth has been taking a more active role. Due to development of technology hosting many online gambling sites, implications on revenue collection, community welfare, and regulatory mechanisms, the Commonwealth is taking tighter measures.
The Interactive Gambling Act (IGA)
In 2001, Australian legislators came up with the Interactive Gambling Act with the aim of mitigating the negative effect of online gambling. In the wake of technical loopholes in the law, changes to protect the player came to life. The focus turned to the operators of the online gambling platforms. Although advertising online gambling that involves real money became illegal, Australians can play online pokies licensed and located in other countries.
Australian operators can legally operate in some countries and offer these services. The IGA stipulated that if an Australian operator was unaware that they were offering their games to Australians, they would receive a pardon. When the mobile phone gaming age arrived, the IGA Amendment Bill 2016 came to law, prohibiting online pokies, regardless of its legality in offshore jurisdictions.
Is Playing Online Games in Australia Illegal?
Playing online gambling games on these sites is not punishable for Australians. It is not the responsibility of Australian citizens to adhere to the IGA rules and regulations, but the sole duty of the operators to ensure Australians are not playing on their online gaming sites. Parts of the IGA online gambling laws show that not all online gambling operations are illegal.
Not only are online slot machines or pokies legal to play, they have many fans in Australia. While Poker is popular in Australian casinos, operating most online interactive poker sites is illegal. Bingo is also legal in Australia, with some casinos computer-simulated bingo games.
Also, it is the online gaming operators who pay the tax, not the player. All the cost you incur as a player is when you deposit, withdraw or convert money on the online gambling sites. If you are not an operator of an online gaming site, all you have to do is look for a safe and reputable site and play with no worries.
Recent Developments in the Australian Gambling Laws
Though some changes to the online gambling laws are inevitable due to technological enhancements, it is not imminent. Some legislators proposed the adoption of the United States-based Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006. The law targeted the banking industry. It became illegal for banks to knowingly process financial transactions for online gambling sites. The banks in Australia fought the UIGEA proposal and won. The legislators also proposed reviewing the IGA to allow Australian online gambling operators to hold licenses to operate locally. This was to ensure flow of online gambling money stays within Australia. The idea did not create enough political support.