Australian Casino Legislation Guide

Online Casino Legislation

As an Australian online casino player, you will probably have encountered a huge amount of information about whether it is legal for you to play your favourite pokies and table games online. Often this information can be confusing and even contradictory, but here at we are here to make it as easy as possible for players from across Australia to know what they can do when it comes to playing casino games online.

In addition to this, we will help you understand the current situation regarding taxation of winnings. Online gambling taxation varies from country to country, but are much more favourable for Australians than for players elsewhere in the world, so it can help to have a good idea of the situation in Oz.

Playing versus operating

Some of the confusion around the legality of online casino games comes from the fact that it is not legal to operate real-money gambling sites catering to Australian players. However there is no law against playing on these sites, which is why online casino fans from all over Australia continue to enjoy online pokies and other internet gambling games.

The relevant law here is the Interactive Gaming Act (IGA) of 2001, and here are some of its key elements:

  • It specifically relates to operators of online gambling sites - players cannot be punished for playing real-money casino games online
  • It only applies to specific online gambling variants. For example, licences are awarded that allow operators to offer pre-match online sportsbetting to Australian residents
  • Australian operators are permitted to offer online casino services to those resident outside Australia (with some specified exceptions)

The most important thing to be aware of here is that simply playing online casino games is entirely legal, and it is up to the operators themselves to ensure they are acting in accordance with the IGA. No player has been prosecuted for playing casino games over the internet.

Will you be taxed on your winnings?

There are many great things about the gambling laws in place across Australia, and chief among these has to be the fact that you will not be taxed on your winnings. Gambling (both online and offline) is seen as a recreation or pastime rather than a job, and your hard-earned winnings are treated accordingly in the eyes of the law.

This situation means things are far more favourable in Australia than in other countries as far as online gambling is concerned. Australian rules are relatively progressive in acknowledging that there is luck involved, especially in online casino games, and that players should not be punished for their good fortune on the pokies or at the blackjack table. With this in mind, online gambling operators are taxed under the terms of any relevant licence, and this is how the Australian government makes its money from online gambling games.

Gambling laws over time

While Australia was one of the first countries to introduce legislation relating specifically to online gambling, all the way back in 2001, online casino games and other forms of internet gambling go back further than that. Some of the first online sportsbooks and poker sites emerged in the mid-late 1990s, with the first online casino launching even earlier.

There are some anti-gambling voices in the political world, the loudest of which belongs to Nick Xenophon, the Independent Senator for South Australia. Xenophon has cited various concerns regarding subjects such as problem gambling and links to corruption, however his approach (while certainly vocal) is yet to gain significant support higher up in the political food chain.

Still, seeing as the law on internet gambling has changed in the past, it would be ignorant to rule out the possibility that it might change again. With that in mind it is always worth keeping on top of legislative developments to see if any new laws are passed, but for the time being you can rest assured that Australian players can enjoy online casino games and other forms of online gambling, entirely legally and without having to pay tax on winnings.

We found the best sites

Now you know that playing online casino games is entirely legal for Australian players of legal gambling age, you are probably wondering where the best places are to play your favourite games over the internet. There are plenty of options to choose from, and you may want to try out a few before deciding on your own personal favourite, but our experienced reviewers are here to help.

Our review team is made up of online casino players who have spent years enjoying real money games over the internet. They have tried countless sites, so know the pros and cons of each and every one of them, and our reviews take into consideration everything that Australian online casino players should be looking for.

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