The percentage of the population of Australia that gambles is higher than anywhere else in the world. The fact that more than 80% of Australians placing bets in one way or another is pretty staggering, and though that applies to land-based casinos, placing bets among friends in the privacy of home, and gambling through bookies and other places that are not licensed by the government as well, online gambling makes up a good portion of that. Australians spent $800 million in 2010 alone at online casinos, which is another testament for their passion for placing bets and winning money. We are called “The Lucky Country” after all!
Is it Legal to Gamble Online?
It is not punishable to be a player and place bets online. The only way you can get into trouble is if you yourself are the casino operator, are operating in Australia, and are promoting gambling with real money on your site to Australian players. Operators located in the country can advertise real money gambling to players outside of Australia, and players in Australia can go to the online casino operators located within their borders and place real money bets. It is similar to laws in other countries that outlaw advertising smoking. You can still smoke and companies can sell cigarettes, but you cannot advertise it. That is very similar to Australia’s laws on gambling. You can play, you can offer players to play, but you cannot advertise real money gambling.
Otherwise, gambling online in Australia is one of the best places to do it in the world. The restrictions for players are lenient, while the jurisdiction and licensing laws for operators are very strict, which is, in our opinion, the best of both worlds. Not only can you gamble as much as you want, but you are protected by the government in case there is a dispute. Betting laws and acts are also dictated by the specific area of the country you are in, though those are often specific to land-based gambling, like racing, sports, pool hall, and brick-and-mortar casino bets. As long as a gambling act is regulated and licensed through the government, then it is legal. That sounds fairly obvious, but that really is as simple as it gets. No matter where you are in the country, you have access to some of the best online casinos in the world, not just in specific areas.
What Was the Specific Law?
The Interactive Gambling Act was passed in 2001 as online gambling became increasingly popular around the world. Since then, players can legally play, while operators can legally operate (though they cannot advertise real money gambling). There are tons of laws passed that are specific to gambling in general, but the Interactive Gambling Act is the only one specific to online gaming, and as an online player, it’s the only one you have to worry about.
Are Winnings Taxed?
One of the best parts about gambling in Australia is that the winnings are not taxed, which is a huge advantage to playing it in our country rather than in other countries around the world. Governments often tax gambling winnings because it can be seen as a form of income. However, the Australian government does not see it that way. They consider gambling a hobby for recreational purposes rather than a profession, and rather than tax the players, they tax the operators, which just makes sense since the operators have the advantage of better odds on their side. They also recognize that big wins are based on luck, and that taxing for wins does not account for all the loses that likely came before it. Lucky streaks should not be taxed, we’re a big believer in that, and players around the world would be envious to know that Australians get to keep all of their winnings if that fact was common knowledge.
If you want to gamble online and you live in Australia, you are in the best position than most other areas in the world. When a country is lenient towards player restrictions but strict towards operating restrictions, on top of not taxing winnings, that is truly a gambler’s dream, and you are lucky enough to live in this oasis of winning potential. Have fun, and good luck!