Learn all nuances about gambling regulations and problem gambling in Australia.
Gambling in Australia, including online wagering, sports betting and lotteries, is strictly regulated and subject to licensing. Therefore, those looking to enter the Australian gambling market need to carefully examine the regulations of the exact states where they plan to operate.
Firms should also pay special attention to responsible gambling policies, as gambling addiction is a problem in Australia, with a recent report finding 184 suicides connected to gambling in Victoria alone.
Now, let’s dive into the world of Australian gambling regulations.
In Australia, compliance requirements may differ depending on the state and territory, as well as the nature of the gambling activity. However, in general, the following types of gambling/gaming activities must follow regulations:
Illegal gambling activities in Australia include:
Online gambling in Australia saw an 8% increase from 2020 to 2022, and keeps growing.
More online gambling operators are entering the market, and more people are participating in various forms of online betting, including sports betting, casino games, poker, and more.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, “gambling is a major public policy issue in Australia, affecting the health and wellbeing of individuals and families in a range of ways.”
Indeed, there’s a number of gambling-related problems in the country:
This has led to the credit card betting ban to prevent people in Australia from betting with money they didn’t have.
These problems have led to the gambling industry being closely monitored and regulated to keep a balance between consumer protection, responsible gambling, and economic interests.
In Australia, there is no single overarching gambling authority. Each state has its own regulator.
The key responsibilities of state gambling regulators include:
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
New South Wales (NSW)
Northern Territory (NT)
South Australia (SA)
Western Australia (WA)
At the federal level, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) sets advertising guidelines and regulations regarding the content and placement of gambling advertisements. The ACMA has taken steps to block illegal offshore gambling websites, directing internet service providers to restrict access to these sites.
Online gambling in Australia is regulated at the federal level by the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (Cth) (IGA) which outlines the general online gambling policy for Australia. However, Australian states and territories independently regulate online gambling in their jurisdiction in accordance with the principles outlined in the IGA.
Land-based gambling in Australia is regulated at state and territory levels. Each of Australia’s eight states and territories independently regulates gambling, gaming and betting activities within their jurisdictions. Below are the relevant regulations for each region.
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory
This is a non-exhaustive list of regulations.
The federal Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 is applicable to all territories, and all casinos, betting and gaming companies in Australia must comply with the country’s AML laws.
With the exception of lotteries, gambling and betting companies must:
Residence in Australia. Operators wishing to offer their services to Australia gamblers must have a legal entity in Australia, and they must obtain the relevant licenses and authorizations from the regulators. In case the company is foreign, it must appoint a local manager, whose residence would be in Australia, to deal with the competent authorities in the country and have the power to conclude contracts on its behalf.
Bank account. Operators must open a bank account with a bank in Australia to deposit player money. Licensed remote gaming operators will only be allowed to make payments to players through the payment processors approved by the regulator.
Share capital. Operators must follow the requirements regarding the minimum share capital of the company depending on the type of game it offers.
Declaration. A monthly declaration with details regarding income from games of chance, as well as the fees due, has to be submitted to the local regulator.
Regulatory compliance. Compliance with:
Eligibility for a land-based gambling license depends on the requirements in the relevant statutes in each state and territory. The application procedure differs in each state and territory.
Persons under 18 years of age can’t participate in any land-based gambling. Operators must therefore ensure all players are over 18.
Online gambling. In general, the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA) prohibits interactive gambling services. However, it makes an exception for:
Operators can obtain a license for a regulated interactive gambling service from a relevant state or territory in Australia and, once licensed, can offer its services in all states and territories.
Yes. Online gambling is regulated in Australia on a federal level, while land-based gambling in Australia is regulated at the state, territory and federal levels.
In Australia, the first legal casino was opened in Hobart in 1973.
Australia’s main online gambling law prohibits the following activities: