Are Online Casinos Legal in Australia?

Australia-gamblingGambling in various forms has become one of the Australians favorite pastimes, especially thanks to the fact that most of the laws related to casino industry are pretty liberal in the country.

Up to date, there are a number of licensed land-based casino venues on the territory of Australia. In addition, some kinds of gaming machines like video poker (pokies) and slots machines are also available for players in bars, clubs and pubs. Online gaming and gambling operations are also legalized.

Currently, more than 80% of Australian residents are engaged in gaming activities of some kind, which makes the casino industry in the country literally a flourishing one. Thanks to the fact that land- and web-based gambling operations are so popular among local players, the revenue generated from such activities is considerable, especially when compared to the one generated from other industries in Australia.

Gambling Laws in Australia

The gaming and gambling policy in Australia has always been among the responsibilities of the States instead of the Commonwealth. This basically means that the state and territory governments were the ones that have been taking care of regulating and providing casino and gambling operations.

Thanks to the fact that new communications technologies have been rapidly adopted by gambling providers, Commonwealth interest has been attracted, as this is an area that is part of the latter’s constitutional responsibilities. In addition, online gambling’s development has had a significant impact on the development of certain regulatory mechanisms, as well as community welfare as well as on the procedures related to revenue collection.

The major law that regulates gambling operations on the territory of Australia is currently the Interactive Gambling Act. The latter was officially passed in June 2001 by the Australian Commonwealth Parliament and received assent in July 2001.

When it comes to sports betting operations, there is a special authority called the Totalisator Agency Board, which is responsible for processing tote bets and fixed odds bets.

Interactive Gambling Act of 2001

australian-gambling-legislationAs already mentioned above, the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 is the main law that is targeted at gambling operations in Australia, and more specifically, at web-based gambling activities and providers.

The law was passed in 2001 by the Commonwealth Parliament of Australia. It is primarily focused on online gambling activities in the country and prohibits offering real-money web-based interactive gambling to Australian residents. In addition, the law also makes it illegal for online casinos to advertise real-money interactive gaming services like online poker and casinos to local citizens.

On the other hand, accessing and using gaming services provided by online casinos is not illegal. This automatically means that Australian companies are provided with the opportunity to offer their operations to players who are located outside the country, except for the ones living in the countries known under the term “designated countries”. As for the latter, a country could be described as a designated one upon request of the Government of the country itself in case the country has a corresponding legislation on the matter.

The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 applies to all online gaming operators, no matter if they are located on the territory of the country or are offshore ones, regardless of the venue’s ownership.

As a matter of fact, the IGA is mostly aimed at protecting the residents of Australia from the potentially harmful effects of web-based gambling. However, there is nothing in the bill that makes it illegal for local citizens to access or use services provided by Internet casinos and gambling venues. This automatically means that betting online is completely legal within the country. Moreover, there are hundreds of offshore casino operators that gladly accept Australia-based players and provide them with a variety of options when it comes to Internet wagering.

Probably the most serious setback of the Australian Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 is the fact that the websites available for use are not regulated on the territory of the country. This means that players will not be able to get any recourse from the competent gambling authorities in the country in case they experience any problems.

Online Gambling in Australia

online-gamblingThere is a certain tolerance in Australian laws, including the Interactive Gambling Act, which basically means that not all kinds of web-based gambling operation are proclaimed out of law. In addition, the restrictions imposed by the local government brought in with the passing of the Interactive Gambling Act are mostly related to companies that maintain online casino websites rather than players who intend to use them.

The regulation of gambling operations in the country is executed at two levels. First, there is the central government that plays a great part when it comes to regulating the industry, as well as passing and amending the relevant legislation on the matter. The second level of gabling regulation includes the state and territory authorities, as well as a few regional authorities.

Here are the organizations and authorities that are responsible for casino and gaming regulation in the country’s regions:

  • The Licensing Commission, which is responsible for the Northern Territory
  • The Independent Gambling Authority that is entitled with gambling regulation responsibilities in South Australia
  • ACT Gambling and Racing Commission operates in the Australian Capital Territory
  • Western Australia is currently covered by the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor
  • The Tasmanian Gaming Commission operates on the territory of Tasmania
  • Gambling activities in the New South Wales territory are regulated by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing
  • The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation operates in the region of Victoria
  • The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation is the authority responsible for casino and gaming regulation in Queensland

Casino Gambling

australian-casinoApart from the land-based casinos that currently operate on the territory of Australia and are being regulated under the Casino Control Act of 2006, there are some web-based casinos that accept local players. For instance, there are hundreds of gaming websites that are rub offshore and accept Australian dollars.

Citizens of Australia are allowed to access such offshore casinos, as well as onshore interactive gambling venues. However, players need to bear in mind the fact that local casino websites are really hard to be found, as there are some legal restrictions involved.

The online casinos that operate in Australia and accept local players offer a great variety of games, including the most traditional ones – baccarat, blackjack, roulette, craps, different poker variations, as well as games such as casino war, pai gow, the big wheel, etc.

Slot Machines (Pokies)

slot-machines-mgm-grandSlots machines, which are more commonly referred to as pokies in Australia, are some of the most-preferred forms of gambling activities in the country. There are currently specific laws that regulate the pokies’ use and are a matter for State/Territory governments.

Up to date, online slots machines are perfectly legal for local players to access. They have managed to become a really large market in Australia. This is exactly the reason why most web-based casinos normally offer more than 250 variations of slots.

Poker

Live Casino Dealers Hold'em PokerPoker is also one of the games that are highly popular among Australian casino players, especially when it comes to Texas Hold’em. The popularity of the game is considered to be due to the fact that it is widely offered over the Internet to play for real cash.

However, no matter how preferred online poker is in Australia, operating such an interactive poker website within the country is proclaimed out of law. Playing at a licensed offshore website, however, is not. Such websites offer local players to choose from a great variety of poker variations, and also provides them with a full range of banking options used for making deposits and withdrawals.

Bingo (Housie)

bingo_2219600cBingo, which is locally known as housie, is currently legal in Australia. It is often used for raising funds and various charity ventures, but there are also big bingo halls across the country, where players are offered the chance of winning great cash prizes while competing against thousands of rivals. Players must be aware of the fact that local bingo (housie) is not the same as the American Bingo, which is popular on the territory of the US and Canada.

There are currently casinos that offer computer-simulated bingo games. Such games not only provide players with the opportunity to try their luck while playing the game, but also offer them to take advantage of some great welcome bonuses and promotions.

Sports Betting

sports-investingSports betting has recently become one of the most popular variations of gaming activities in the country. Up to date, there are thousands of TAB retail outlets that provide local players with the opportunity to bet.

In addition, there are a lot of certified Australian-owned bookies that offer local customers the chance to try their luck in guessing the right results of sports, racing and other events offered by these providers are permissible.

National Lotteries, Keno, etc.

tatts-groupUp to date, there are a number of various authorized lotteries that currently operate on the territory of the country and are regulated by the following local lottery companies – Lotterywest, Tatts Group Limited and South Australian Lotteries. There are also specialized keno outlets in the country.

Some offshore gaming platforms that accept local players offer different keno games, as well as various scratch card games.

Money Transactions at Legal Online Casinos

The casino deposit methods used by Australian players are not as difficult to manage as the ones used in America or Canada. This is pretty much understandable as gambling laws in the country are considered more liberal.

The best deposit methods for local players who want to use the services of online casinos are considered the ones that the Government acknowledges as legitimate. Finding a reliable payment method for playing in an online casino in Australia is quite important because this could save players a lot of troubles.

Deposit Methods

Here are the payment methods accepted in legal online casinos in Australia:

Visa

visa-card-logoVisa is currently among the most popular ways to transfer money and make online payments. Thousands of people all over the world prefer using their debit and credit cards for depositing money in their online casino accounts.

Getting a Visa card is easy. Users are required to only contact their bank and get some details about the variations of Visa cards offered. There usually are some compatibility issues that need to be checked before the user applies for such a card.

There are currently different types of Visa Cards, which offer different options and conditions. Visa products are some of the most-used ones when it comes to making deposits in online casinos. They are proved as part of the most reliable, safe and secure online payment methods.

MasterCard

MasterCard_LogoMasterCard is currently one of the main types of credit cards available to customers all over the world. No matter if it comes to making online payments or playing at an online casino, players can be absolutely sure that both their personal and banking data is protected in the best possible way. MasterCard products are considered as some of the most secure and risk-free ones and guarantee that no sensible information is to be revealed to any third parties.

Different types of MasterCard offer different options and are suitable to every customer’s personal needs and requirements. The greatest advantages of this payment method is the fact that it offers customers the opportunity to make online purchases and payments, and even make deposits at web-based casinos.

Ukash

ukash-logoUkash is ranked among the major electronic money systems. The payment method is based in the UK and offers its users the chance to make payments via the Internet by exchanging real money for a security code.

Probably the best part about this payment method is the fact that Ukash does not require a registration. The only thing users need to do is purchasing a Ukash card. This makes the payment system practically one of the most secure ones offered for making online payments.

The code that is received by purchasing the card is called a “secure code” and consists of 19 digits. It can be used for making various payments on the Internet, as well as for making money transfers, loading cards or e-wallets, and casino deposits.

POLi

poli-logoPOLi is one of the most recent online payment systems. It offers probably the most-preferred Internet real-time debit payment system in Australia. The platform of the payment method is considered as a very interesting and also a secure one, primarily due to the fact that it is not related to using any credit or debit cards. This reduces to the minimum the risk of revealing any sensitive personal or banking details to any third parties.

Up to date, POLi payment methods works with both AU$ and NZ$ and is aimed mostly at Australian residents. Its goal is to provide local users with the opportunity to make online payments, including online casino deposits, in a quick, safe and easy manner.

Neteller

neteller_logoNeteller is one of the oldest online payment systems, being launched back in 1999. Up to date, it is ranked as one of the top five most-preferred web-based money transaction methods that are used by online casino players to both deposit and withdraw money to and from their Internet casino accounts.

Neteller offers a reliable and cost-effective e-Wallet payment options that is preferred by online casino players from all over the world thanks to the fact it is fast, trustworthy and secure. There is a variety of features provided to users in order to suit their personal needs and requirements in the best manner possible.

Skrill (Moneybookers)

Skrill-moneybookers-logoSkrill is a relatively new online payment methods. The system was launched in 2008 and is currently among the most popular virtual payment systems. It offers its users both safety and convenience, which is exactly why online casino players recognize it as part of the most reliable systems for making deposits and withdrawals to and from their online casino accounts.

What is more, Skrill is a preferred virtual payment system because the payments made via the method are not related to revealing any personal or financial details of the users. The only information visible when making payments is the customer’s e-mail address, no credit and debit card numbers are provided to any third parties.

Citadel

citadel-commerce-logoCitadel is another payment option used not only by Australians but also by people from all over the world to transfer money from one account to another, pay for purchases made over the Internet, or fund online casino accounts.

There are two payment options that are offered to customers depending on their place of residence.

The Citadel Electronic Check Service is available for players based in the US and Canada only. The other option – myCitadel Wallet is provided not only in the US and Canada, but also in Australia, China, France, Spain, Germany and the UK.

ClickandBuy

clickandbuy-logoClickandBuy has managed to become a pretty attractive option for all customers who are willing to deposit funds on a certain account on the Internet. The payment method has managed to become quite popular among online casino players thanks to the fact it has an e-Wallet option that allows them to easily transfer money to and from their accounts, as well as shop on the Internet.

And the best part is that the service provided by the ClickandBuy payment system is fast, easy to operate with, and last but not least, safe. Currently, there are over 15 million users who have chosen this payment method and more and more customers are joining its network every single day.

EntroPay

entropay-logoEntroPay is a fast, reliable and easy to use payment system used by customers not only in Australia but from all over the world to pay over the Internet. The great news is that the payment method can be used only for making payments for purchases of goods and services online, but also for funding players’ online casino accounts.

Players are required to make a simple registration in order to be given the opportunity to use the payment method’s platform. Not only the registration, but also the entire payment process is fast, safe and easy.

No sensitive personal and financial details are revealed to any third parties, which makes EntroPay one of the most-desired and used methods by online casino users.

Licensed Casinos

Here is a list with the top five licensed casinos that accept Australian players:

Royal Panda Casino

Royal PandaRoyal Panda Casino is a relatively new web-based casino that offers its customers a full range of various virtual casino games. The website is powered by some of the best online casino software providers – Microgaming, NetEnt, etc. and guarantees not only an excellent gaming experience for everyone who choose it, but also maximum satisfaction and ultimate safety for the players’ personal and financial details.

Apart from the regular online casino version, Royal Panda is also available on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, which means that players can access the mobile games of the platform by simply visiting the Royal Panda Casino on their mobile browsers.

One of the top priorities of the Royal Panda Casino is offering maximum safety to its customers. The platform uses a SSL encryption of all its web pages. The advanced technology used guarantees excellent security, which means players can be sure their sensitive data such as usernames, passwords, banking details and other personal information will not be revealed to or accessed by any third parties.

In addition, the Royal Panda Casino offers a really impressive catalogue of online casino games provided by some of the best software developers in the industry, such as NetEnt and Microgaming.

The interface of the casino is easy to work with, and there are also some live games that provide first class live gaming experience by accessing the live dealers in Live Roulette HD and Live Common Draw Roulette, or Live Blackjack.

Betway Casino

BetwayBetway Casino is an online casino that is integrated in the gaming network of Betway. It offers a great variety of online casino games, including virtual and live table and card games, video poker, slots, etc. The casino’s platform is powered by Microgaming, which guarantees not only excellent quality of the games uploaded, but also maximum security and stability, as well as a user-friendly interface that is easy to work with.

The Betway Casino is licensed by the jurisdiction of Malta. It has some restrictions against certain countries. It features a friendly and dedicated customer support which is available 24/7 and is aimed at helping players when it comes to any question or other issue. Betway Casino representatives can be contacted through e-mail or live chat, which guarantees an actual response in a few minutes.

An SSL encryption is implemented in the casino’s platform in order to guarantee top security. This encryption is used in order to prevent any third parties from obtaining any sensitive personal or financial details from the casino players.

And last but not least, an excellent selection of casino games, including card and table games, slots machines, video poker, baccarat, craps, etc. The best part is that Betway Casino is widely known for the impressive number of slots, which include not only traditional three-reel slots, but also some of the most advanced video slots, including progressive ones.

EuroGrand Casino

EuroGrandEuroGrand is one of the newest reputable online casinos that offer a great range of casino games with excellent quality that guarantee full satisfaction and safety. The software of the platform is provided by one of the most successful online casino software developers in the world – Playtech.

The latest Playtech gaming software platform offers a large number of great features that are to make the player’s experience unforgettable. There is also a free-play option, which provides beginners with the opportunity to try new games out without any risk.

The deposits and withdrawals in EuroGrand Casinos are processed quickly. In addition, they are completely secure, not to mention the fact that the online casino platform is compatible with most reputable and trustworthy payment methods. Customer support service is available 24/7.

The game sellection of EuroGrand Casino includes classic and video slots, roulette, including a live dealer option, as well as video poker, arcade games, three versions of blackjack, keno, baccarat, other Asian games, and a number of excellent games featuring progressive jackpots.

Casino Tropez

Casino TropezOffering more than 100 Las Vegas style casino games, Casino Tropez has managed to become a well-established online casino with an excellent reputation and thousands of happy customers. It was officially launched a few years ago and is currently powered by one of the leaders in online casino gaming development.

The software provider that powers the Casino Tropez platform is Playtech. The platform is available for download and can be accessed in a number of languages. One of the features that has made the casino so popular is the really lucrative bonus program that rewards regular cash bonuses to the players.

Casino Tropez offers a great range of online casino games, including a large variety of online slots machines, including classic single and multi-line games. The rest of the traditional card and table casino games are also available.

Mr Green Casino

Mr GreenMr Green Casino is currently ranked as one of the biggest and most revolutionary and reliable online casinos in the world. The casino uses the software developed by some of the leading online casino software providers in the world, including NetEnt, Betsoft, Play’N Go, IGT, etc. The casino is licensed under the jurisdiction of Malta, but it has set some legal restrictions, too.

Mr Green Casino guarantees not only a great gaming experience, but also maximum security and full satisfaction. The information and money transactions are processed through the highest-level SSL encryption in order to guarantee that no personal and banking details will be recealed to any third parties.

Literally huge selection of games from several online casino gaming providers is also available on the casino’s website, which has been certified fair by one of the largest Swedish gambling organizations.

The casino offers one of the largest selections of video slots up to date. There is also a great range of table and card games, including roulette, blackjack, baccarat, craps, video poker, etc.

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