Australia is known to be one of the most gambler-friendly countries around. You can find poker machines in pubs and clubs all over and casinos are a popular destination. Online gambling is a different story, however.

History of Gambling Policy in Australia

Gambling policy in Australia was traditionally the responsibility of the states, rather than the Commonwealth – the Federal Government.

The Commonwealth began to take a more active interest in gambling policy when the public began to express concerns over the impact of gambling on Australian society. The Commonwealth instituted an inquiry by the Productivity Commission and this led to even more concerns.

$1200 in Free Bonus offers at Royal Vegas Casino

The best Australian casinos offer bonuses and promotions that directly target their Australian clientele.

As online gambling began to grow, the Commonwealth found that its impacts reached further than community welfare. Online gambling created serious implications for regulatory procedures and revenue collection. Due to these concerns, the Federal Government passed legislation in the hope of preventing the potentially negative affects of online gambling.

The Interactive Gambling Act (2001)

The Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) of 2001 prohibits the provision of interactive gaming services to customers in Australia. It also prohibits the advertising of interactive gambling services. The prohibition applies to all interactive gaming service providers, whether they are Australian owned or foreign or whether they are based in Australia or offshore.

The implications of the Interactive Gambling Act

The Interactive Gambling Act makes it illegal for online gambling operators to provide an interactive gambling service to customers who are physically present in Australia. It does not, however make it illegal for residents of Australia to play casino games online. In other words, the laws target the operators and not the individuals.

In addition, the law prohibits the opening of new Australian online casinos, but it does not require the closure of online casinos that were already licensed and running before the passing of the Interactive Gambling Act in 2001.

There are many online casinos that accept players from Australia

Sports Betting in Australia

Online sports betting in Australia, unlike online casino play, remains completely legal. There are a number of state government-licensed sportsbooks currently in operation, including CentreBet, Betfair and Sportingbet. There are a few restrictions placed on in-play betting on events held inside Australia.

Lasseters Casino

Lasseters Online Casino was in a unique position as being the only legitimate online casino to be run in Australia. In fact, it is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and it is regulated by the Northern Territory Government of Australia. Currently, Lasseters offers three online casinos, including Lasseters Euro and AusVegas which were both launched in 2005. Lasseters Corporation also runs Lasseters Online Sportsbook.

The Productivity Commission Report 2010

The 2010 Productivity Commission Report has recommended to the Australian Government that they amend the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 to allow them to liberalize online gambling.

The Productivity Commission stated that the gambling industry is an important sector in terms of the economy and that problem gambling can be tackled successfully. The Australian Government has not agreed with the Productivity Commission’s recommendations and it looks as if the current Interactive Gambling Act will remain as it is; at least for now.
There are many online casinos that accept players from Australia. Search our recommended list of online casinos who accept players from Australia and pick up a free casino bonus today