In retrospect gambling, Australia and the US have been lightyears behind the rest of the world. The US has made some regulatory changes to make online gambling easier in recent years. But Australia is yet to embrace it fully.
It is one of the many reasons gambling is quite confusing in AU. But not to worry because we’ve got Tim Harrison from BetZillion among us. Tim is a betting guru, and he knows what’s up with Australia’s betting scene.
He promises to dive deep into the regulations and the loopholes of the current law to help you truly understand the betting paradigm. To fast-track the process, he also provided a list of legal small Australian betting sites for Entrepreneurs Break readers!
Legal Aspects of Betting in Australia — Tim Harrison to the Entrepreneurs Break
Before understanding the rules of betting in Australia, Tim thinks it’s essential that you know the legality of the trait. Thankfully, the current laws only outline the actions and consequences for the gambling operators and not the players. So, it’s doubtful that you’ll get into trouble for betting.
But as a concerned citizen and a passionate bettor, you should know about the current legislation. It’s all outlined in the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. Although it’s a very hands-on guide on what’s legal and not, it’s just not up to date with the current gambling scene.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is in charge of overseeing the entire gambling industry in Australia. The online gambling industry, to be precise. On the other hand, offline gambling is regulated by territory gambling regulators.
As per Tim’s sources and the Interactive Gambling Act, the following betting activities are completely illegal online.
- Online poker
- Online casino gaming
As you can see, the situation is not as bad as the Aussies think. Although Tim thinks it’s a shame that online casino games are not yet legal in the country, he’s glad that there are no such restrictions on betting sites.
Speaking of betting sites, let’s look at the legal entities for online gambling.
- Sports betting
- Horse race betting
- Fantasy sports betting
- Social gaming
- Skill games or tournaments (i.e., Esports)
So, according to the interactive act of 2001, sports betting is legal in the country. The holistic approach may come from the ACMA, but it’s ultimately the state regulators responsible for keeping things in check.
State Regulators for Online Gambling in Australia
All 8 states in AU have got their regulatory bodies. The approach is very similar to what Tim has seen in the US or Canada. He thinks it’s a great way to customize the betting experience according to the taste of certain demographics.
Here are the regulatory bodies for all states across Australia.
- Australian Capital Territory – Gambling and Racing Commission
- South Australia – Consumer and Business Services under the Attorney-General’s Department
- Tasmania – Tasmania Liquor and Gaming Commission
- Queensland – Queensland Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation
- Victoria – Victorian Commission for Liquor and Gambling Regulation
- Northern Territory – Northern Territory Racing Commission
- Western Australia – Western Australian Department of Racing Gaming and Liquor
- New South Wales – Liquor and Gaming New South Wales
As you can see, all mainstream states and territories across the country have their regulatory bodies. The majority of them work closely with the corresponding body of the state government.
Not only that, but each territory also has its legislative instruments. Of course, every instrument must comply with the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.
For example, Victoria has the Gambling Regulation Act 2003. Even before the Interactive act, Victoria had the Casino Control Act of 1991 designed to control and regulate land-based casinos.
Tim believes that it’s good to have this many regulatory instruments to regulate an industry. However, he’s concerned regarding the online casino and online poker restrictions on the Interactive Gambling Act.
It may have stopped Australian brands from offering players casino games, but it can’t prevent the offshore sites from penetrating the market. And that’s what happened in reality. There are plenty of casino operators that accept players from Australia.
As the law doesn’t outline any punishment or even prohibition for the end-users, players have nothing to worry about. At the same time, offshore operators are out of the AU government’s reach.
It has created a weird bubble of casino players and operators in the country. The majority of the operators are legit, but there will always be a few wolves in sheep’s clothing. That’s what concerns Tim the most.
What about Land-Based Gambling?
Thankfully, land-based or offline gambling, whatever you may want to call it, is not as restrictive as its online counterpart. There are casino pokies, poker machines, lotteries, and totalisator wagering.
Unlike online gambling, there is no central authority to look over offline establishments, except for the federal government, of course. All operators must obtain licenses from the corresponding authority in the territory.
Some notable establishments are Star Entertainment in Sydney and South East Queensland, Crown Resorts Limited in Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.
What Should You Be Aware of When Betting in Australia?
Tim enjoys betting a lot. He spends most of his time wagering online and learning about the craft. So, he’s very eager to share some pointers for when gambling online in Australia.
According to Tim, a license is the best security tool for the bettors. And we agree with him. A license mandates and reinforces the protocols an operator must comply with. It’s true for both Australian brands as well as offshore brands.
As there is no current regulation to stop offshore brands from penetrating the market, Tim advises all bettors to verify the license before signing up. If you’re more interested in on-course sportsbooks in the country, the ACMA website has a complete list of the approved brands.
Offshore operators generally serve all kinds of instruments, including casino games, lotteries, poker rooms, bingo rooms, sports betting, fantasy sports gambling, horse race betting, and whatnot. Tim advises refraining from casino games and poker because why take chances?
If you’re more drawn toward sports betting, look for operators with the richest collection of sports and markets. Also, don’t forget to compare the odds between multiple bookmakers to get the best results.
It is another no-brainer. When you look for an establishment for betting, you must have access to customer support. As Tim Harrison says, having 24/7 live chat, telephone support, and email support is the industry standard.
Methods like eWay, SecurePay, Pin Payments, and 2CheckOut are prevalent among Aussies. If you’re comfortable betting with these methods, then look for operators that offer these methods. Thankfully, the list Tim provided in the beginning already has the best operators in the country.
Online and offline betting is available in Australia to a greater extent than most people realize. We wholeheartedly thank wagering expert Tim Harrison from BetZillion for bringing up the most important aspects for us.