Online Gambling in Australia
Online Gambling in Australia
It is believed that the people of Australia are the riskiest gamblers on the planet. This is indicated by the amount of money spent by Australians. On average, each local player spends $1,300 a year on bets and online casinos. And there are many such players in the country, given the size of the continent's population.
Online gambling statistics in Australia shows that about 80% of Australian adults gamble at online casino at least once a year. More than 7 million Australians – about 40% of adult population regularly spend their money on at least one type of gambling activity every month. The average age of an active player is 39. As a rule, these are men with an annual income of around $90,000. All this makes the whole region very attractive for the renewed online gambling business.
Australia is only 0.3% of the world’s population. Moreover, online gambling in Australia in 2021 hosts 6% of the world’s slot machines and 18% of poker. In terms of the number of pokies per person, Australia ranks on a par with the casino countries: Monaco, the Caribbean, and Macau.
Laws and Gambling Regulations in Australia
Is online gambling illegal in Australia? The answer is partially. The Interactive Gambling Act (2001) was adopted by the Commonwealth Parliament on June 28, 2001. This gambling legislation in Australia was approved on July 11, 2001.
The gambling legislation targets online gambling operators, making it legal to offer interactive “real money” gambling to Australian residents. It also prohibits online gambling providers from advertising “real money” online gambling services (such as casinos and online poker) to all Australian citizens. That being said, the amount spent by Australians on online gaming reached about $1200 million by 2015, according to the Australian government’s official 2015 performance report.
Accessing and using online casino services is not a crime. Australia-based companies are also allowed to offer their gaming services to players located outside Australia, except for those countries which are called “designated countries”.
Besides, certain concessions are offered in some states. In particular, Western Australia recently removes a ban on the organization of gambling onboard casino liners.
A special system of protection against gambling addiction has been developed for local users. The new provisions are planned to be legalized at the national level. The Australian government has reached agreement on most of the points.
In 2021 was implemented a law that will create a self-exclusion register in Australia. Such a measure would close a clear gap in player protection. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will oversee the implementation of the program. Thanks to it, anyone who wants to limit themselves from gambling can do that for a certain period.
Even best online gambling sites will be subject to fines if the security rules are violated. Other countries, in particular Switzerland and Germany, are taking similar measures today. The self-exclusion system, according to experts, is an integral element of a healthy gambling market.
That said, concerns about problem of addiction are not unfounded. An LSAC study found that adolescents in Australia have reported addictive behaviors. The results show that one in six minors aged 16-17 has experienced gambling. Boys more often than girls try such entertainments. Among the adult group of respondents, a greater interest in gambling prevails among men.
Not only the UK has its own approach to protecting players and provide safe online gambling, where the GambleAware program is actively moving forward and constantly being developed. Together with experts from China and the UK, Australian scientists have created an interactive method test, thanks to which anyone can determine whether they are addicted to gambling or not. By answering only 18 questions, you can find out the degree of addiction on a five-point scale.
Player winnings in Australia are tax-deductible. There are 3 main reasons for this statement:
- Playing at the casino is not considered a profession; it is seen as a hobby or entertainment;
- The Australian government views gambling profits not as income but as a result of luck. Even if someone gamble and wins big money, they also lose a lot in other gaming sessions.
- Instead, the government is taxing gambling operators.
Review shows that taxation of gambling providers in Australia differs from state to state so much and different services in the country are taxed differently. There are taxes on player loss, turnover and net income. Since gambling operators must be licensed to offer their gambling services, and certain fees must be paid at this stage in the development of the casino business.
The use of different tax rates and bases makes it pretty difficult to compare taxation across all the states. But there are clear figures for all online casino providers in every Australian state.
Playing Pokies and Casino Games Online
Online gambling activity in Australia is federally regulated. In 2001, the Commonwealth Parliament passed the Interactive Gambling Act, which is the same for the country.
Online gambling business is also divided into several massive categories:
- casino games: roulette, blackjack, craps, poker, and others;
- slot machines;
- jackpot games;
- lotteries, keno, bingo;
- sports betting.
The online gambling laws allow online casino services. However, the online casino provider must be registered within the Australian legislation. At the same time, it is allowed to accept customers from other countries where the business is legalized. Games are available for desktop, smartphones and laptops. Players can use common banking methods.
Online gambling reviews shows that the increased interest of local people in online casinos and the tireless work of the experts to improve legislation are factors that testify to the development of the casino business in Australia. Despite discussions about the advisability of expanding the casino industry and making requirements for business owners stricter, the Australian online market attracts a lot of international gambling sites.
Australia, due to quarantine measures aimed against the coronavirus, has increased interest in online gambling. According to the consulting company AlphaBeta, online betting turnover grew by 67% during the closure of land-based casinos.
The gambling market in Australia is estimated at 15 billion Australian dollars, and, according to experts, a significant part of this amount moves to the online segment. Since the country has several restrictions on the activities of online operators, experts believe that offshore operators will benefit from the current situation.
It should also be noted that during the Covid-19 pandemic in Australia, in addition to casinos, other entertainment venues, including bars, were also closed, which led to a 33% increase in sales in stores of alcohol and cigarettes.