Is online gambling legal in Australia?
The laws and regulations introduced by the Australian Government within the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 place online casino’s and sports betting in a vacuum that makes them neither legal or illegal. The use of online casino’s and sports betting sites by Australian citizens is not illegal; however, the establishment of new Australian online casino companies is prohibited and non-Australian online gambling companies are not permitted to accept Australians as customers.
Australia is one of the world’s biggest gambling markets with casino’s, lotteries and sports betting all popular with the majority of Australia’s residents; since the boom of internet gambling in the 1990s the country has maintained an unhappy relationship with online gambling sites. Sports betting companies are permitted to operate in the country with limited regulation as long as the company pays taxes in Australia. The 2001 Act limiting online gambling followed a large amount of research from government agencies attempting to find ways of taxing the profits of online gambling companies. The majority of online gambling companies are based in countries with firendly regulations and taxation policies towards the industry, such as Gibraltar.
Australian regulations do not call for the closure of online gambling companies established in the country before the 2001 Act was introduced, but it does prohibit the establishment of new online gambling companies in the country. Companies based outside the country are also subject to prosecution if they accept bets placed by players from inside the country.
Australian’s who play online casino games are not covered by the 2001 Online Gambling Act and their activities are not subject to prosecution by Australian authorities. The Australian Government has yet to prosecute any online gambling company for accepting the business of Australian residents who are thought to be registered with companies around the world. Most companies do not fear prosecution in Australia as they are not physically present in the country.