Casino Gambling Guide for Australians
Gambling has been a part of Australian culture for a very long time. The gambling industry in the country has changed a lot from the time when the first land-based casino was built in Hobart. It’s not only casino gambling that Australians love, some scratchcards and lotteries are played for fun and for great causes. Gamblers in the country have gone from enjoying community gambling opportunities to land-based casinos to having access to the best offshore online casinos available in the world.
Our team of experts here at CasinoTop wants to give you as much information as possible so that your Australian gambling journey goes off without a hitch. We have put together a guide that will tell you more about the laws and legislation around gambling and find out about what is required of you as a player in Australia. We’re here to make life easier when it comes to gambling in Australia.
The Laws Around Australian Gambling
Gambling has been around for a long time and many of the early Australians enjoyed a range of gambling games among themselves. There are records that there were different forms of gambling taking place as far back as the 1700s. Settlers from China brought different card games to Australia as well which added an element of socializing. It also brought in elements of competition and more entertainment.
Throughout Australia's history, the government has attempted to regulate gambling in ways that society deemed necessary, and the laws continue to struggle to keep up with the latest technologies and trends. Today, the technology involved in internet gambling presents ongoing issues posed by Australians' appetite to gamble and the expansion of international online casinos, making it impossible for the government to regulate within its borders. As gaming evolves, laws strive to keep up.
The First Laws for Gambling
In 1852, the first major gaming legislation was enacted. The 1853 "Act to Restrain the Practice of Gambling and the Use of Obscene Language" and the subsequent "Vagrant Act" attempted to outlaw games like two-up and tan-tan, but horse racing and other forms of betting were still legal. To the conservative population of the period, card games posed unknown hazards, and regulations were enacted to limit wagering on such games.
Laws and Regulations for Gambling Today
Before the 1970s, casinos were prohibited from playing card games, but that regulation was overturned due to public outcry. The government also considered the potential revenue from regulating and taxing Australian online casinos, as well as the benefits to the tourism economy. States and territories were handed the majority of gaming authority, and the first casino opened in Hobart in 1973 which led to more land-based casinos in the region.
When the 1990s came around, online gambling came into the fold and expanded the gambling industry in a big way. Online casinos along with online poker websites started popping up offering casino games to Australian players as well as others around the world. In 2001, the Australian Commonwealth Parliament approved the Interactive Gambling Act, attempting to limit the availability of real-money Internet games and advertisements to Australians. The government, on the other hand, has had a tough time enforcing the regulations, as foreign internet casinos continue to attract a large number of players from the ever-growing sector.
The Gambling Act was amended in 2017, requiring greater licensing of gaming sites by Australian authorities and providing options for gamblers to opt-out of gambling and assist with problem gambling habits. This regulation also prohibits in-play betting and prohibits incentives such as free bets.
Australian Gaming Regulators
The Australian government or Commonwealth oversees the gaming industry in the country overall. However, each state has the right to create and amend laws on its own. These regulatory bodies include the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, the New South Wales Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, the Northern Territory's Licensing Commission, the South Australia's Independent Gambling Authority, and the Australian Capital Territory's Gambling and Racing Commission.
Player Information for Australians
Gamblers in Australia have plenty of options when it comes to land-based casinos in the country. There are electronic gaming machines that offer table games and pokies. There is also a good selection of table games that players can enjoy when visiting their local casino. Poker tournaments are also very popular in the country. Poker players in Australia have access to some of the best and largest land-based casinos in the world.
When it comes to online gambling, the gaming world expands for any Australian gambler. Craps, baccarat, blackjack, poker, video poker, roulette, slots, sports betting, and a variety of other games are available to online gamblers on whichever site they choose. While the government works to clarify its regulations governing offshore online casinos, pokies, and poker sites, players are still free to use them without fear of being prosecuted in any way. The laws are still being amended and established to keep up with the current technology and respond to player desire, but in the meantime, gamers are not identified as criminals in any legislation.
Australians Gambling Regularly
According to statistics from 2007, over 80% of Australians gamble at least once a year. Australia earned roughly $5 billion in taxes and revenue from gambling businesses at the time, with live poker machines accounting for $3 billion of that. In 2011, a government-commissioned survey found that at least 70% of Australians gambled, generating tax income of between $12.1 billion and $15.8 billion per year.
Australian Playing Casino Games Online
The Australian government is always looking for ways to regulate international online casinos. However, there has been no improvement on that front as yet. The battle between offshore online casinos and the government of Australia has nothing to do with the residents and visitors of the country. Wherever in Australia players find themselves, they will have access to hundreds of online casinos. As long as players have a secure internet connection and a compatible device, any online casinos based offshore can be enjoyed by Australian players.
Deposits and Withdrawals at Online Casinos
Australian banks aren’t happy about the transactions that are allowed when it comes to depositing and withdrawing cash from online casinos. However, other companies offer players an option to create a middle-man and make payments safer. Third parties that offer players e-wallets, prepaid debit cards and other transactions are becoming more popular. Some online casinos have even started offering players the option to use different forms of cryptocurrency.
Taxes on Gambling
When it comes to gambling, Australia is one of the best countries to live in. Players don’t have any obligation to pay taxes on the cash that they win from gambling at land-based and online casinos. Gambling is considered to be a recreational activity and is meant to be a fun activity that Australians enjoy when they have free time. When it comes to local gaming facilities, these companies are taxed instead of the players to ensure that the state benefits from the lucrative industry.
Playing in AUD at Online Casinos
The majority of offshore casinos have a large enough Australian player base to provide AUD alternatives. Almost every online casino or poker site accepts Australian dollars for deposits and withdrawals, however, not all of them provide play in that currency. Larger sites, on the other hand, will allow a player to select his or her currency and view their cashier page in AUD, making it easier for players to keep track of their wins and losses without the need for conversion.
Playing Safely Online
The worry of insufficient oversight or transparency is one of the grounds for Australian legislation attempting to prohibit international online casinos and poker companies from catering to Australians. Most respectable international enterprises, on the other hand, are not only officially licensed, but also work with oversight bodies like eCOGRA to ensure that players' safety is protected.
The agency that gives their gaming license requires most foreign online gambling operators to submit to audits. Furthermore, registering with eCOGRA ensures that these audits will be conducted to maintain the mark of approval on their websites. Because of eCOGRA's international reputation for setting high industry standards, Australian players have come to trust that cCOGRA-approved sites provide a safe and secure gambling environment.
Safety of Real Money Funds at Online Casinos
Before playing, any player can check to see if an online gaming site is regulated and registered with an oversight agency like eCOGRA. Most international sites with established names and many years in the market have prospered as a result of their meticulous attention to detail and security. Finding out if an online casino uses the latest encryption technology should be a standard check as well. This is the same technology used by financial institutions around the world to keep customer information safe.
Fairplay at Online Casinos
Online casinos have encryption technology to keep your information safe and there are random number generators to keep games fair. The use of these RNGs ensures that all games are always fair and random. Players will not have the ability to track or see any patterns in the game. So, it means that whenever someone places a bet, they have an even chance of winning or losing.
Recourse for Suspicious Online Activity
Some steps can be followed if the player suspects an online casino to have substandard service and security. The first step would be to contact the online casino’s customer support or complaints department to find out more. If you do not receive a sufficient answer then contacting the regulatory body that licenses the casino will be your next step.
Players can also contact eCOGRA or any other third-party company that regularly audits the online casino. The Australian government won’t have a chance to intervene when it comes to disputes against online casinos.
Australia is known to have a great gambling industry, but that is also helped by the country having great resources and laws to maintain responsible gambling habits. Websites like Lifeline offer a lot of information regarding assistance for problem gambling.
If you or someone you love needs help with a gambling addiction then it’s important to find the resources available in your region of Australia. The following resource has a list of responsible gambling information and links to assist around the world.
Having responsible gambling habits is very important to you as a player. It is also important to all gamblers in the country to ensure that gambling is considered as a recreational activity. Have fun, stay safe and hopefully you win a little as well.