Online gaming is not only convenient, it also offers an extra layer of privacy. Anyone who is of legal age can sign-up to play in an online game. In addition to this, online gaming sites also find various ways of enticing new players by way of offers and sign-up bonuses. In light of the popularity of online gaming across the world, how does Australia compare with other countries?
Gambling state in Australia
The general rule is that online betting in Australia is legal and anyone within the Australian border is allowed to play. However, it is not a simple as that because there is Australian legislation that exists to limit certain online gaming activities. Specifically, the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 has two prohibitions:
- The act of advertising “real-money interactive gambling” to citizens of Australia.
- The act of offering “real-money interactive gambling” to citizens of Australia.
Some examples of these services which the act prohibits are roulette, poker, black-jack, and in-play online betting.
To understand this law better, it does not render any online casino operation illegal, but only that which specifically targets Australians in their advertisements and offers. When it comes to betting on sports games, it is legal as long as the bet is placed before the game commences.
How to play online
Now that the legality or illegality of the act has been established, how does one play at an online casino in Australia? Here are further insights on how to find the best Australian online casinos:
- Online casino. If an online casino operator were to open its business within the Australian border, the services should be marketed outside the country with respect to the law. Australians can choose to place their wagers online in any offshore licensed gaming site. These sites have the capability to accept AUD as a payment method and a player can easily download the software to conveniently play. Aside from this, playing for real money in an offshore online casino is completely legal and there are no restrictions whatsoever.
Another great feature of online casinos is that you can play almost any game that is offered in a land-based operation. There are countless variations of games such as roulette and black-jack which makes it less boring than playing offline.
- Slot machines. One of the most popular online games is poker machines or called pokies by Australians. In fact, poker machines are found in offline casinos, bars, and pubs. Since this is very popular with Australians, there is no surprise that there are hundreds of online pokies and slot games available at any given time of the day. Some of the best online pokies are powered by Microgaming which gives them outstanding graphics and visuals. A word to the wise, these games are quite entertaining but also very addictive.
- Sports betting. Offshore sportsbooks are perfectly legal for Australians to participate in. Some examples of sites include Bet365 and William Hill. These sites have some of the best wager options for popular sporting events ongoing around the world. Since in-play wagering is also prohibited, bettors can rely on placing their bets in offshore sites instead. Another option, while still risky is to place bets over the phone.
- Bingo. Bingo is another popular game enjoyed by players of all ages. There are a number of online casinos offering games with similar mechanics. There are several variations of the game you can find online such as Super Bonus Bingo and Ballistic Bingo. Most of these online platforms give the players the option to deposit their AUD payments through credit card payments, bank deposits, and Skrill. Once the payment has been deposited, online bingo games offer promotions and welcome bonuses for first-time players.
- Lottery and similar games. When it comes to the online lottery or keno-type games, Australians can also choose from a number of offshore gaming options. In addition to this, the official distributor of lotto tickets in Australia, Oz lotteries allows bettors to view and purchase tickets online.
What is the future of online gaming in Australia?
While Australians are enjoying online gaming activities quite freely, there are still some legislators opposed to the activity. The proposal of anti-gambling legislators is to remove poker machines completely.
Nevertheless, there are opposing opinions on whether or not such restrictions will be allowed. With regards to how this affects online gaming, there are still no concrete changes to the current state of online gaming across the country. There may be talks of banning internet poker and in-play betting, but these have yet to be put into reality. The fact of the matter is, as long as the website is an offshore online gaming platform, it is legal in all aspects and every Australian who wants to play online can freely enjoy this activity.
Perhaps the most important issue is that players should remain responsible and vigilant every time they participate in online gambling. Since they are putting their money into an offshore online casino, there is very little possibility of recovering the investment should the site be found to be fraudulent. Another precaution is to play in moderation and within the bounds of what is considered normal. It is one of the main concerns of the government because gambling addiction is another issue that can be hard to combat because of the availability of resources.
Online gaming at this time remains legal across Australia as long as it is through a site operated offshore. As long as you play on a legitimate site and keep your activities in check, there is no harm in enjoying an online bet from time to time.