Australian Online Casino Gambling
The Interactive Gambling Act (2001)
Before the year 2001, there was no legislation in Australia regarding online gambling. Online gambling not only existed but thrived, prior to 2001.
In 2001, the Australian Government finally recognized the existence of the online gambling market and its unregulated ways. The Australian Government passed the Interactive Gambling Act on 28th June 2001 and the bill received approval on 11th July 2001.
What exactly is the Interactive Gambling Act, you ask? Well, it is a law that was passed by the Australian Common Wealth Parliament to protect Australian Citizens and the Australian society from the ill effects and pathological addictions associated with online gambling.
The law basically makes it illegal for online gambling operators to
- Offer “real-money” online interactive gambling to residents of Australia
- Advertise “real-money” online interactive gambling to residents of Australia
The limitations of the Interactive Gambling Act (2001)
The most commonly asked question with regard to online gambling Australia is always – is it illegal to gamble online? Let me just cut to the chase and answer that question. The simple one word answer is NO. There is no law in effect that makes it illegal for an online player\gambler based in Australia to wager a bet over the internet.
The law in place (The Interactive Gambling Act) only concerns online gambling operators. These guys may be fined as much as $220,000 per day (fine levied on an individual) or $1.1 million per day (fine levied on the organization).
Having said that, in the pragmatic world, the Interactive Gambling Act has not proven to be very effective in restricting what it intends to restrict. To this day, gambling operators based off shore continue to offer and advertise their real-money online casinos and gambling services to Australian citizens and Australian citizens continue to indulge in such activities. According to the official 2010 productivity report put forth by the Australian Government, the amount spent on online gambling by Australian citizens reached some $800 million just by 2010.
There have been no real attempts by the Australian Government to enforce their penalties on these off shore gambling operators, and if any attempts were made, they would be futile simply because of the fact that these operators are located outside the Australian Governments scope of authority.
Also, another point worth mentioning is that the Interactive Gambling Act does not prohibit online casino Australia operators from offering their services to people based outside the land down under. They are not permitted to offer or advertise their real-money gambling services only to Australian residents and residents of a select few other “designated countries”.
The special case of Sports Betting
The Australian Government, for some reason, has taken a different stance when it comes to sports betting. It is common knowledge that people who partake in sportsbetting are not immune to the risks of addiction or any other ill effects of gambling, but the Australian Government has made an exception in this case.
Licensed sports bookmakers regulated within the Australian borders are legally permitted to offer and advertise their services to the Australian citizens.
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