Legislative Fight over Online Casinos in Australia


Online gambling in AustraliaAs much as the Commonwealth of Australia enjoys being known as a nation of law and order, the legality of online casinos has remained a grey area of legislation throughout the 21st century. In general, gambling and betting is big business in Australia, and the popularity of games of chance or of skill that involve wagering is growing in this most prosperous country. Land-based casinos, sometimes referred to as brick-and-mortar casinos in North America, are enjoying healthy profits as Australia navigates through decades of prosperity.

Current Legal Status of Online Gambling in Australia

With disposable income currently at very high levels in Australia, residents of this great island nation are eager to try their luck at both land-based and online casinos. When it comes to Internet gaming, Australian law has mostly been silent on the ability of their residents to access websites hosted abroad and operated by business entities that follow the laws of the jurisdictions where they are registered.

As the situation stands, Australian law does not allow for the licensing and registration of online casinos that offer games such as blackjack, roulette, virtual slot machines, etc. Oddly enough, the development of digital gaming technology is alive and well in the land Down Under. Case in point: Major digital gaming provider Playtech recently signed off on a licensing agreement to provide games designed by Ainsworth Game Technology, a developer based in Australia. Despite the obstacles, there are numerous sites offering the best and most trusted online “Pokies” (take a look at aussieonlinepokies.com).

A Crackdown on Foreign Online Casinos

In November, the government announced the formation of a new task force dedicated to stop foreign online casinos to offer their services to Australian residents. One of the strategies that may be employed to accomplish this will be to block certain websites and to ask for the cooperation of national Internet service providers.

At the same time, the Australian Productivity Commission has proposed a legalization of online casinos, and they are closely watching the elections in Victoria, where a casino mogul is providing considerable support to the gambling-friendly Labor Party.