Gambling in Australia: Local Laws & Legal AU Operators

Here in Australia, gambling laws are somewhat controversial when it comes to online casino sites and the products they offer. In fact, some gambling forms are allowed since you’ll meet varied land-based casinos in Australia. Moreover, the country has certain laws regarding taxes in this sector. But when it comes to online casinos, we meet certain prohibitions since local operators can’t provide online services in the country.

At the same time, there is nothing about online casinos with offshore licenses like Curacao. That’s the main sector of the Australian online operators we overview here at BetSquare, so this review will be helpful to describe whether your games are legit and what tips should be considered. Let’s explore this aspect in detail!

Gambling History in Australia

To understand how the industry is working now, it’s essential to analyse what factors used to influence its development in the past. Here, we’ll highlight the most essential aspects of the Australian gambling industry development from the past and to the moment:

  • The first time when Aussies used to widely experience gambling was during the Colonial Era (1788-1901), and it was not only for fun but to boost the local economy. 
  • In the 19th century, players could enjoy varied lotteries like keno, and Tattersalls was, actually, the monopolist to provide such services. 
  • The next century was the time for horse racing development, also known as ‘tote’. 
  • In the 1970s, the government allowed some land-based casinos, and Tasmania was the first state where visitors could reach the legal Wrest Point Hotel Casino opened in 1973.
  • Next, Aussies used to experience the boost of pokies (electronic gaming machines) all over the country. Then, they were available even online, including not only online pokies but also varied other forms.
  • In 2001, the Interactive Gambling Act prohibited some of these forms, though the industry is still extremely popular in the country.

Documents Prohibiting Some Forms of Gambling

The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA) is the primary legislation which is in charge of online gambling in Australia. This law doesn’t allow operators without a local AU licence to provide online gambling services to local players, including online pokies, online bingo, and other forms, though it’s not true about online sports betting which is extremely popular in the country.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is responsible for overseeing requirements in this regard. However, an essential thing to note is that the IGA prohibits unlicensed online gambling operators from offering their services to Australian residents, but it does not explicitly criminalize individual players who participate in online gambling. This way, you don’t break local laws when gambling on the sites of offshore gambling sites.

Legal Gambling Licensing in Australia

Since local operators can’t provide services within the county, the best solution for the AU gambling sector is dealing with real money casinos licensed offshore. These licences have nothing in common with the country’s laws, but they show that the gambling services offered by the operator are fair and regulated. Here in Australia, the most common licences are as follows:

Licence Description
Curacao Issued by the government of Curacao, this licence type is quite simple to get. It covers both casino games and sports betting. We should warn our readers that the Curacao online casino license is considered to have a lower level of regulatory oversight compared to other jurisdictions like the UK or Malta.
MGA It’s a gambling license issued by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) which is a reputable Malta-based regulatory authority. It’s highly regarded in the AU online gambling industry due to the rigorous standards. It imposes strict requirements on license holders to maintain player protection and responsible gambling.
UKGC Being one of the most reputable authorities in the iGaming sector, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission has really high standards regarding fair gaming. Thus, real money operators must go through a thorough application process and meet stringent criteria to acquire the UKGC online casino licence.
Gibraltar One more trustworthy regulator is Gibraltar Licensing Authority (GLA). Australian offshore operators holding this licence are subject to ongoing monitoring and supervision by the GLA, and they may be audited regularly to ensure compliance with the licensing conditions for players’ safety.

To check whether an online casino where you play holds such a licence, it’s enough to visit the site, scroll down, and check the footer. When there are certain licences, their logos and information about the registration number are specified below. If the logo isn’t clickable or you don’t find information about this casino on the regulator’s official site, it’s suspicious and you should better search for some alternatives from our BetSquare rating.

Risks Aussies Take at Unlicensed Casinos

Though licensing isn’t connected with local gambling laws, Aussies can face serious risks when gambling at non-licensed casinos. Such sites aren’t controlled by regulators, which means that they don’t meet standards of any kind. It’s not only about services but also about safety measures, especially when it comes to personal data safety and secure payouts. When operators ignore safety aspects of this kind, we don’t recommend them and add such sites to our page of blacklisted online casinos players in Australia should avoid. This way, we help our readers avoid scammers and choose the best Australian casinos instead.

Do Australians Face Risks When Gambling Online?

Well, we’ll rely on the laws and legal prohibitions applied in the country for now. There are no laws regulating online operators in Australia, and it’s somewhat disappointing. However, we also don’t find laws which prohibit Australian players from visiting online gambling platforms. This way, even when the government will have issues regarding online gambling which is against local laws, these concerns will be addressed to operators, not players. Our BetSquare team is also doing its best to let players avoid risky gambling sites which violate local Australian laws, so our casino rating considers these aspects and you access fair and up-to-date results to choose the best high payout casinos in Australia.

Gambling Laws in Other Countries

Aussies can enjoy lots of top-notch operators accepting players from Australia and providing corresponding services, such as payments in AUD, the presence of local payment methods like Neosurf, and more. But it’s also interesting to consider the laws and regulations of other countries to understand how it all works and how it can be compared with the Australian gambling legal aspects.

  • Canada
    Gambling laws in this country depend on the province where you gamble. For example, some operators can work under Kahnawake or even Curacao licences, while Ontario, for example, requires the presence of the AGCO licence.
  • Britain
    This country is friendly to gambling, though it’s rather strict in terms of its regulations. The UKGC licence is a must for the country, while local restrictions prohibit credit cards, Bonus Buy in games, too large bonuses, and some other things.
  • New Zealand
    As well as Australia, New Zealand doesn’t fully accept online gambling yet doesn’t set prohibitions for players accessing offshore gambling sites. Operators working within the country hold international licences like Curacao.

As you can see, Australia is different from countries like the UK where operators obtain licences from local operators, but at the same time, it’s quite similar to New Zealand where the online gambling sector is just as wide.

Prohibited Things in Australian Casinos

While some aspects like offshore licences make the online gambling industry in Australia hotly debated, other things are fully prohibited by both operators and local laws. They are connected with the legal gambling age, prohibited actions connected with fraudulent activities, and some more aspects we’ll highlight below.

Prohibited aspect Explanation Examples
Underage gambling Here in Australia, the legal age is 18+, which is always specified on the sites of online operators and strictly controlled by the government. Minorities younger than 18 can’t access gambling sites and use their services.
Fraudulent programs Don’t try to install programs to cheat casinos or use fraudulent software of this kind. Gambling is unpredictable, while such programs are illegal. It’s prohibited to install prediction or cheating programs which guarantee wins.
Creating fake casinos This prohibition concerns operators who create fake copies of well-known safe casinos and try to steal players’ data and money. You should play only on official sites of online casinos in Australia.
Capturing payment details Australian laws prohibited scammers from stealing gamblers’ personal and payment details via varied methods like fishing emails. Don’t provide your personal data to anyone if it’s not a licensed online casino verification.
Rigged games Local authorities in Australia prohibit fraudulent software which provides players with rigged games and an RTP much below average. Choose games from reliable software providers and with a high RTP score.
Irresponsible gambling Well, it’s not exactly about local laws, but it’s extremely important to avoid compulsive gambling and remember the gamble aware terms. Play responsibly, don’t chase losses, and never use credit funds for gambling.

Safe Online Casinos in Australia: BetSquare Choice

safety for online Casinos in Australia

Our BetSquare experts always take care of our readers’ safety, so we make sure that gambling sites we recommend are reliable and will meet the preferences of AU players. This means that you will easily access payments in AUD, won’t have problems with local payment options or cryptocurrency, and so on. Besides, our team makes sure to meet some more safety aspects so that your experience is legit and secure.

Transparent Terms & Conditions

Regardless of whether it’s an existing or a new online casino in Australia, it should display transparent information regarding its terms. These should be clear payout limits, full information about the casino’s owner, the registration number, licensing details, and much more. When working on our reviews, we check all these details. As a result, you also access this information and can be sure that your experience is safe when you trust BetSquare.

Good Wager for Bonuses

Australians can come across different promotions, including a welcome bonus, cashback, promo codes, and others. Our goal is not only to recommend online casinos where these offers can be claimed but also analyse whether the offers are good enough. We don’t recommend bonuses with a wager of over 50x, especially when the max win is capped, while a wide range of games is excluded from the promotion.

Award-Winning Providers

Whether they are new online pokies or other casino games Australians play for real money, these games should be supplied by award-winning brands like BGaming, Yggdrasil, or Betsoft. We make sure that these software providers have corresponding licences and RNG certificates like eCOGRA. Besides, we test these games and check whether their RTP is high enough to keep the house edge as low as possible.

Calendars with Events

On our side, we try to help our readers understand when and where to place bets. Well, we don’t know what games or events will be winning, and we also can’t predict what exactly will suit you. However, we know what games have the highest RTP and also know what upcoming sports events can interest Aussies. In this regard, we create casino and sports betting calendars to let you learn about these events in advance and get prepared.

Gambling Statistics in Australia

We know that our readers in Australia enjoy gambling and pick reliable casino sites for this. Besides our research, gambling statistics in the country also show that the industry is evolving, so you can make sure that this sector is really developing rapidly and the government will potentially change prohibitions to provide more space for this area. For now, Australian gambling statistics are as follows:

  • In 2020, Aussies managed to spend nearly 17 billion Australian dollars solely on iGaming machines, lotteries, and other forms of gaming.
  • In 2022, the gambling industry made a substantial contribution of approximately 420 million Australian dollars to the economy in terms of gross value added.
  • Statistically, 50% of adult Aussies gamble regularly.
  • Averagely, Aussies use AU$1,260 to gamble per year.

Thus, the gambling industry sees Australia as a compelling market for investment due to its ongoing growth and promising prospects, so we hope that local laws will make more gambling forms legal in the country.

Legit Land-Based Casinos in Australia

The IGA document sets restrictions regarding online gambling. However, the country is friendly to a range of land-based casinos which operate legally and are controlled by the local government. This way, Australians of legal age can easily visit these brick-and-mortar gambling halls, get some chips, and enjoy other services like food and drinks to boot. Here are the most popular legal casinos in Australia:

  • Wrest Point Hotel Casino (Hobart, Tasmania)
  • The Star Sydney (Sydney, New South Wales)
  • Adelaide Casino (Adelaide, South Australia)
  • Crown Melbourne (Melbourne, Victoria)
  • SkyCity Darwin (Darwin, Northern Territory)
  • Treasury Casino (Brisbane, Queensland)

These land-based casinos have pokie machines, poker tables, and a variety of other gaming options, as well as restaurants, bars, hotel services for accommodation, dining, and entertainment facilities.

Sports Betting Legal Aspects in Australia

As well as land-based casinos, sports betting operators are also legal in Australia. This area is governed by state and territory legislation, as well as the federal Interactive Gambling Act 2001. Events Aussies can legally bet on include horse racing, football, rugby, cricket, soccer, and much more. Since this sector is strictly regulated, it meets certain standards and restrictions, including responsible gambling practices, advertising regulations, and age restrictions.


Our research of the legal gambling aspects in Australia showed that today, the situation with online activities is quite complicated since the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA) prohibits online gambling when operators don’t have local licences, but at the same time, the government doesn’t have penalties for players accessing casinos with offshore licences. This way, there are some facilities for gambling here, and at the same time, they can’t be considered illegal. At the same time, from our side, our BetSquare team is doing its best to highlight the safest and fast-payout gambling sites which don’t have problems with laws in the country and provide excellent safety measures for real money gameplay!


Are online casinos legal in Australia?

When it comes to online operators, they aren’t allowed if they don’t have a local licence. However, the laws don’t have prohibitions regarding players gambling on offshore sites.

What regulators control the industry in the country?

The industry is controlled by the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA) and The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Where to find safe gambling sites for Aussies?

Here at BetSquare, we have a rating of the best Australian online casinos which are safe and have been thoroughly tested by our experts, so you can rely on our rating.

What are the legal gambling forms in Australia?

Today, Aussies can access land-based casinos legally operating in the country and sports betting services which are available at both land-based bookmakers and online.

Will online gambling be fully legalised in Australia?

Statistically, in 2022, the gambling industry made a substantial contribution of approximately 420 million Australian dollars to the economy’s gross value, so the country may consider it.

Lisa Cheban Author Betsquare

Lisa Cheban


Lisa works as a content writer and specializes in delivering top tier i-gaming content which is why her articles and blog posts are always very engaging and informative. Well spoken, and does her research very well in an industry where transparency, honesty and constant follow up is a rarity.