Gambling is seriously popular in Australia and if you’re an Aussie then you’ll already know it’s in your blood… but is it legal and safe online?
This page details the legal issues surrounding online betting in Australia and we’ve also got a table which covering legal Australia betting sites and bookmakers.
Best Aussie Betting Sites & Bookmakers: Top 4
Key Facts: Online Gambling In Australia
- Over 80% of population have engaged in gambling of some kind.
- Online gambling is 100% legal with licenced providers.
- Legal gambling age is 18+.
- Punters not taxed on gambling winnings.
- All legislation aimed at providers not punters.
Gambling Law & Legislation: Legal or Illegal?
As is the case with all nations around the world, there are a multitude of rules, regulations and items of legislation related to gambling in Australia. The following timeline should provide a good overview of the most important:
1954 Onward – State Based Legislation
For much of the history of regulated gambling in Australia, legislation related to it has been passed at the state rather than the national level. The first piece of major legislation in this area can be traced back as far as 1954 and was the Betting Control Act passed in Western Australia. Each piece of legislation had varying statutes and regulations but in general there was little attempt to restrict or limit legal gambling.
1973 – First Legal Casino
In February 1973 the first legal casino was granted its licence and opened in Tasmania. This became the first of many, and there are now several casinos open and operating all over the country.
1999 – Prime Minister’s Statement
The first real example of national government getting majorly involved in gambling regulation in Australia, on 16 December 1999 the then Prime Minister John Howard released a statement on the subject of problem gambling. As part of the statement he announced:
‘The establishment of a council of Commonwealth, State and Territory ministers to focus on stopping the further expansion of gambling in Australia; the impact of problem gambling on families and communities; Internet gambling; and consumer protection’
2000 – Interactive Gambling (Moratorium) Act 2000
As a response to Howard’s statement of the previous year, the Interactive Gambling (Moratorium) Act was passed in 2000.
This act prohibited for the course of 12 months the provision of interactive gambling services which were not being offered before the 19th May 2000.
2001 – Interactive Gambling Act
A logical follow up to the act of the year 2000, the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 prohibited the provision of interactive gambling services to customers in Australia, the provision of the same services to residents of a select list of ‘designated nations’, and the advertisement of interactive gambling services.
2001 – Leeway in the Interactive Gambling Act
The Interactive Gambling Act is applied only to gambling providers and at no point makes it illegal for residents of Australia to take part in online betting or gambling, even if they do so at sites which are themselves in contravention of the act. What’s more, further leeway is built into the act which means that online sports betting and online lotteries can be legally provided to Australian citizens. In order for sports betting to be fully above board and legal, the company providing it must be fully licensed by the relevant state authority and must only offer pre-event and not in-play markets.
2016 Interactive Gambling Bill
In 2016 one of the most significant gambling based bills was passed in to Australian law with a big focus on protecting players and preventing gambling addiction.
The bill focuses on four main points; banning of gambling adverts during live sports events, complete ban on live / in-play betting of any kind, all offshore operators must now be licensed by the Australian government or will be deemed to be breaking the law and all forms of online gambling, excluding sports betting, were made illegal.
Tax on Winnings
As well as understanding the legislation regarding the legality of gambling in Australia, it is also helpful to know the situation when it comes to the taxation of the gambling industry in the country. Fortunately, the news in this regard is entirely positive for punters as there is no taxation of individual gambler’s winnings in Australia.
Instead, the Australian government and state authorities choose to tax the gambling providers and also do not view gambling as a profession, making it exempt from income tax. Taxes levied on providers differ from state to state and can be based upon either the company’s overall turnover or on the level of profits and losses of the company’s customers.
As we have mentioned throughout this page, there are no laws prohibiting individual Australian punters from taking part in online gambling. As such, choosing a deposit method is very much a case of personal preference for each punter.
In general, however, depositing via either credit card or debit card often ends up being the most sensible choice. This is the case as these are amongst the most widely available methods, have a good level of security associated with them and are very quick and simple. Those who don’t like using their cards online, however, could just as easily choose to deposit via any number of popular e-wallet services.