The Legality of Online Gambling in Australia

With many countries having legalised online gambling, it’s only right to wonder about Australia’s take on the same. Online gambling has proven to be a lucrative business. It has prompted various countries to rethink and streamline their gambling industry. After all, there’s a lot to gain in terms of revenue.

Australia has been quite busy streamlining its iGaming market. However, their gambling laws are quite complex. That’s why Aussies find it challenging to choose one of the great gambling site such as in the country. Luckily, we are here to make everything simple for you. Let’s roll!

Is Online Gambling Legal in Australia?


As stated, AU gambling laws are quite complex. First things first, all internet gambling activities in Australia are regulated by the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) 2001. This Act prohibits the provision of certain online gaming services to players residing in the country. However, it has exceptions, including sports betting, racing betting, lotteries, and online gambling. Gambling operators can offer these services as long as they close bets before a race or game starts.

Online gambling services prohibited by the IGA are oftentimes referred to as “online casinos”. They involve the use of the internet to take part in games of chance with real money. The illegal online gambling products in Australia include:

  • Casino-style titles (roulette, blackjack, and poker)
  • In-play or Live sports betting
  • Online casinos
  • Pokies (slots)
  • Scratch cards (Scratchies)
  • Wagering on a lottery’s outcome
  • Sports betting on sites without an Australian licence

Further, anyone who runs a gaming site in Australia has a more complex legal environment to operate in. In 2001, the country passed the Interactive Gambling Act. The Act includes a comprehensive list of requirements that gambling operators must adhere to at all times. However, these regulations can be pretty confusing because of several exceptions.

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Shockingly, Australian gambling sites can serve non-Australian players across the globe. For countries whose legislations block Aussies, you obviously can’t access the gaming site’s services.

Australian Gambling Laws – Gamblers

From a player’s viewpoint, the Australian online gambling laws are pretty lenient. This is because no laws bar you from betting online while in the country. The criminal code does not entail any law that addresses online gambling with regard to players. So, Australian players don’t need to adhere to provisions and rules set by the IGA. Aussies’ biggest worry should be about finding safe gaming sites. Currently, dozens of offshore online casinos accept Australian punters. They even accept payments in AUD.

The law, however, demands that gambling service providers in Australia should block Aussies from accessing prohibited gambling services. Simply put, Australian online gamblers do not have to bog themselves with figuring out legal and illegal gambling sites in the country.

Australian Gambling Law – Offshore Casino Operators

According to the IGA 2001, unless the contrary intention appears, the act extends to omissions, acts, matters, and things outside the country. Simply put, the regulations set by the IGA also extend to offshore gambling sites.

While the Act does not allow these sites to accept players from the country, it has little to no effect. Many offshore online casinos that operate in Australia accept local gamblers without any repercussions. Of note, AU legislators have tried cracking down on online wagering. But as it is, there isn’t much interest in taking stern action. That’s why Australian gamblers seek refuge on offshore sites for casino services.

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Live Betting in Australia

Betting on sports and horse races is perfectly legal in Australia. However, things are different as far as live betting is concerned. Also called in-play wagering, live betting is a form of sports betting where you place wagers on events that have already started. For example, you can still place a bet on a football match that has already kicked off.

According to the IGA, AU online sports betting sites are prohibited from offering live betting markets. Any site that offers this type of bet risks losing its licence. Luckily, you can still try your luck at several reputable offshore bookies. These sports betting sites are not limited to the whims set by the IGA. So, they can offer bet types to Australian players as they please. For more great gambling resources read more here.

Online Gambling Complaints in Australia


Gambling over the internet often comes with a few troubles. Unfortunately, the regulatory body in Australia may be unable to identify them all. That’s why the government depends on the public to complain about all illegalities they come across.

In line with this, the AU government created the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). This body is charged with regulating the online gambling space in the country. It also investigates all complaints made by the public regarding online gambling.

You may come across an illegal online gambling activity in AU or have any other gambling concerns. The best way to make a complaint is through the Interactive Gambling Complaint Form from ACMA. Alternatively, you can reach the ACMA through 1300-850-115 or other customer support options.

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In Summary

Various forms of online gambling have become interesting pastimes in Australia. Thanks to the country’s liberal online gambling laws, players find it easy to play. Currently, more than 60% of Aussies engage in some sort of online gambling with real money, including cryptocurrencies. Crypto is a preferred payment method by many online casinos, because it is anonymous and hard to trace. On top of that it allows gamblers to make international payments in terms of minutes without using credit card or online banking.

As evidenced in this article, gambling laws in Australia only apply to internet gaming operators. This means that players are at liberty to choose their online operator of choice. Moreover, you won’t have to deal with any consequences should the site offer illegal services like live betting.

That said, gambling can be addictive if not controlled. This is why we advocate for responsible gambling. To avoid problems associated with problem gambling, you can opt for self-exclusion, made possible by the 2019 changes to Australian gambling laws.