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Players from Australia have a lot of options to play with foreign online casino sites, but their laws can be a bit confusing and are prone to a lot of misconceptions, so we want to clear things up for you here.
Australia has one of the biggest gambling cultures of any country in the world, and the average citizen wagers more on average than almost any other place on the planet. Along these lines, it’s pretty easy to see how Australian online casinos would be extremely popular. Ironically, there aren’t any thanks to backwards laws that basically involve the country shooting themselves in the foot.
However, players are completely free to play with casino sites available from plenty of other countries and locations, and here we want to show you everything that there is to know about doing so. Our goal here is to help Australian casino players to find online games that match up for what they’re looking for.
While we’ll get into the particulars of why this is the case down below, the bottom line is that players from Australia who want to play in online casinos will need to do so with sites that are licensed in other jurisdictions. As such, they cannot rely on their own local jurisdictions to regulate or provide safety and protections, so trust and reliability are the key things to look for. Along these lines, the best Australian casino sites will offer the following:
The sites that we recommend for players from Australia all have the first two points, and most of them have the second two points or at least a convenient way to convert from AUD to other currencies like US dollars, British pounds or euros. If everything else is great about a given casino site, then this currency exchange step doesn’t end up being that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, and it’s very much worth having a place to play that’s a good fit otherwise.
You’re going to see from the outline of some legislation below that the way Australia has went about handling online casino laws is not the best. However, there’s nothing at all making it illegal for Aussies to connect and play with foreign online casino sites. As such, we’d like to give some additional practical advice when it comes to picking out the site that you’ll want to play with.
The first thing you absolutely must do is make sure that you’re playing with a site licensed in one of the top jurisdictions like Malta, the United Kingdom or Gibraltar. Absent of this, they should have been around for several years, have a tremendous reputation for always paying out reliable and preferably be operated by a company that runs other casino sites that have the same level of strong reputation.
Second, check their deposit and withdrawal options to make sure that they have at least two of each (a primary and a backup option for both deposits and withdrawals). This will help to avoid situations where one payment method becomes unavailable and leaves you in a sticky spot.
From there, check to make sure that they have the games that you want to play. If you deposit at a site only to find out that they don’t have the game you were looking for in the first place, then you’re going to be aggravated with the situation as a whole.
If you follow this process, you’ll be in good shape when it comes time to find a casino that works well for you.
The major law that affects online gambling in Australia the most is the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 (known as the IGA for short). With all due respect to the people who formed the bill, it’s one of the most self-defeating pieces of online gambling legislation ever written. The basic idea behind the bill is that, with the exception of certain types of online lotteries and certain types of online sports betting, no companies can offer any type of gambling on the Internet to players in Australia.
With that having been said, there’s an important point to make:
There is no law that makes it illegal for players to get in on the action with any type of online gambling whatsoever, including online casino play with foreign sites.
One problem with this law is that it can only be enforced against companies that operate from within Australia because Australian laws do not have jurisdiction outside of their borders. A second problem with the law is that it avoids any type of reasonable regulation that would allow the country to collect tax revenues from this type of gambling, and from the numbers that we’re going to look at further down below regarding how much actual online gambling goes on in the country, it’s pretty simple to see how ridiculously huge of a mistake that is.
Introduced in 2016 and put into law in 2017, this was a collection of amendments to the original IGA of 2001 that we looked at above. It did a few things that affected advertising and things like that, which don’t really affect casino players all that much. However, they mostly just doubled down on the internal ban against most types of gambling.
We feel the need to take this moment to point out how they had a very serious opportunity to update the 2001 bill to get with the times. This would have involved regulating and taxing the industry to create protections for players and to use the money raised for community projects along with problem gambling help and awareness and a variety of other things. Instead, they opted to shoot themselves in the other foot since they apparently missed one in 2001 with the original IGA.
A variety of operators pulled out of Australia completely after this bill became law, so you’ll find that some casinos do not accept Australian players as a result. It’s not a huge deal and is just a minor inconvenience since the majority of sites do accept Aussies, and there are even some that are geared completely towards players from this country.
We think it’s pretty important for players to understand just how big of a gambling culture there is in this country since it puts into context just how backwards the above pieces of legislation really are.
The overall industry for gambling in Australia brings in about $20 billion in revenues each year. The average player spends at least $1,000 a year on gambling in various ways. Pokies, the Australian term for slots that’s derived from “poker machine,” make up a significant portion of that, and online pokies are a big market there as well. And as you can see from how they’re handling their [lack of] regulation, this is a big part of the market that the government generates no revenues from whatsoever.
There’s a whole lot of gambling happening in a lot of different sectors in this country. Unfortunately, politicians have decided to stick their heads in the sand and to try to completely ban most types of gambling online unless they have a license from somewhere in Australia. This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever because there are no licensing boards for online gambling of any type within the country. As a result, they are ineffective at best and incompetent at worst in this particular area.
Despite the misguided laws in Australia, players still have lots of good options to play online with safe, secure and reputable sites. At the most basic level, this is really the most important thing for people who want to play. However, in the long run, they’re going to have to do something about their backwards and ineffectual laws on the subject because the industry is constantly changing, and they’re missing out on a whole lot of revenue as a result of sticking their heads in the sand instead of actively regulating the industry.Menu