In Australia, the rules for gambling are determined by state and territory, while online gambling falls under federal laws.
In 2001, the commonwealth government introduced a law called the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 that regulates online gambling services and prohibits companies from offering these services to people in Australia without proper authorization.
This act also prohibits Australian companies from offering online gaming and betting services to Australian residents. If it is provided by any foreign entity, it must be on the register of licensed interactive gambling providers to operate in Australia.
Casino gaming – including slots, casino table, roulette, and blackjack prohibited under ACMA regulation, 2001.
According to Australian Communications and Media Authority, some states permit online sports betting, however, online casinos and online poker are yet to be legalized.
What’s under IGA? Here we have discussed it in detail:
IGA Act – 2001
The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA) is the current piece of legislation that regulates interactive gambling services in Australia. This law was introduced with the objective of safeguarding consumers, preventing online betting and gambling from being a source of criminal activity or societal disorder, and minimizing harm to individuals and families caused by excessive gambling.
As per IGA provisions, offering specific types of interactive gambling services, such as online casino games and sports betting to Australian residents is prohibited. However, the use of offshore gambling services by Australians is not restricted by the act.
The law makes it illegal for many forms of gambling to take place in Australia. Both local and offshore gambling industry operators are covered by the IGA rulings but naturally, there are exceptions.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is responsible for the enforcement of the IGA and has the power to take action against entities that violate the provisions of the IGA act. This may include the imposition of fines and suspension or termination of services.
Since its inception, the IGA has undergone multiple amendments, and the ACMA regularly assesses and updates its enforcement policies and guidelines to ensure that it continues to effectively regulate the online gambling industry in Australia.
The Interactive Gambling Act, of 2001 has undergone several amendments since its implementation. These amendments were made in response to changing online gaming and gambling trends and the need to provide updated regulations to protect consumers and minimize harm.
Some of the important amendments to the IGA include:
Prohibition on advertising of interactive gambling services – The 2011 amendment to the IGA introduced a ban on the advertising of interactive gambling services to Australians, except for licensed betting services.
Restrictions on credit betting – The 2016 amendment introduced restrictions on credit betting – a type of gambling that involves borrowing money to gamble. This helped in reducing the potential harm associated with excessive debt.
Strengthening enforcement measures – The 2017 amendment strengthened the enforcement measures available to the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Now the rules are more strict and active.
Expansion of the definition of interactive gambling services – The 2018 amendment expanded the definition of interactive gambling services to include new types of gambling services and technology, such as virtual sports betting and loot boxes.