Gambling and online casino gaming is a widely popular activity all over Australia. Unlike in many countries, going to a land-based casino in Australia or logging into an online gaming website is considered great entertainment rather than an illegal action. The main reason is that most of the regarding laws are liberal. In accordance to this, Australians happily use their legally permitted right to participate in some forms of authorized gambling. To be exact, in a recent study 80% of the questioned Australian adults stated that they engage in one or more forms of gambling frequently. It is probably safe to say that this percentage must be the highest in the world.
Online casino gambling in Australia started gaining popularity in the 1990s, similar to other countries being somehow open-minded about gambling. Although some people would assume that online casinos had a warm welcome in Australia, mostly because it’s good money for the government, they would be wrong. Those online casinos were majorly offshore, therefore it was impossible to expect and rule out tax liabilities. Then in 2001 everything changed, because The Interactive Gambling Act was released and it has mainly been the same ever since.
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Online casino jurisdictions in Australia
Australia has always been big when it comes to gambling, starting with betting on horse and greyhound races about 100 years ago, as well as the regulating system being cooperative at most times. Compared to other countries’ jurisdictions, the Aussies are quite lucky.
Gambling regulation is being done at two levels in Australia, one of which is the central government level and the other one is the state or territorial level. Each of these states or territories have their own governing organizations, for example the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor in Western Australia.
Since the rise of the online casinos in the early 1990s the Australian government was trying to find the solution and the right way of having an influence on the industry. Finally, the solution came in 2001 in the form of the Act.
The Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) came into power in July, 2001. It mainly targets the online gambling operators by stating that it is an offence to offer online real-money interactive games to the citizens of Australia. Advertising and promoting these types of online casino games is prohibited as well. Australian–based companies though can offer services outside of Australia, but only if it is not illegal to participate in the targeted country.
Actual legality of online casino play in Australia
Playing online casino games in Australia in a two-word summary is: not illegal. In other words, the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) does not target independent users signing up to an online gambling website and playing real-money games, unless the casino is not Australian-based. Most of the big and popular online casino websites accept Australian players without any problem.
Looking at the actual legal side of the legislation’s viewpoint it shows that its not a criminal offence to play online gambling games, which includes even online poker. Therefore, a legal Australian citizen cannot be prosecuted. The offence of offering Interactive Gambling Services to Australian residents carries a maximum fine of $220,000 per day for individuals within an Interactive Gambling operation or $1.1 million per day for the actual company
Online casinos excluding Australian players
Australian citizens are legally not banned from any online casinos, except for the ones operating in Australia. As said before, the within-the-country-based online casino operators are not permitted to offer or even promote their services to Australian citizens. Other offshore-based online casinos on the other hand, if licensed as regulated, should not have any issues accepting Australian players. If a person happens to win in an online casino then that money is completely tax-free, because gambling is considered as a hobby instead of a profession.
Land-based casino gambling in Australia
There are several land-based casinos operating all over Australia. Each of these casinos offer very high service, in attempt to provide US level experience. They have to follow a national standard according to the Casino Control Act of 2006, where it is declared how each of the establishments should operate and the Act also offers guidelines for casinos. The Australian brick and mortar casinos have to provide certain number and types of games as well, including Blackjack, Roulette and Baccarat. Players can find Pai Gow, Casino War, Pontoon, The Big Wheel, Craps, Sic-Bo, Two-Up and different versions of poker games, like Texas Hold’em, Omaha or Stud. Some of the land-based casinos that provide excellent service are:
Sky City Adelaide with 129,000 square feet (11,984 m2) of gaming space, while offering 950 slots and 200 tables.
Burswood International Resort Hotel and Casino Hotel with 111,471 square feet (10,355 m2) of gaming space offering 3,779 slots and 201 tables.
Gambling and online casino gaming is a widely popular activity all over Australia. Unlike in many countries, going to a…