If you’re playing online gambling games in Australia, chances are you’re playing somewhere that’s actually based in the UK or Gibraltar. While there are a number of interesting benefits for citizens of Australia to play these, there are regulations in place that have prevented online gambling operations to advertise to Australians. Many online casinos will allow you to make deposits, and withdraws, in Australian dollars (AUD$), making it highly convenient to those with bank accounts in Australian dollars. Online gambling is prevalent in Australia despite the legal struggles it has made in the past. It had generated around $19 billion in 2008-2009 alone.
History and Laws Surrounding Gaming
The first interactive gambling operation was in 1996, closely followed in 1999 by the first regulated online gambling operation. The operation was established just after the Northern Territory Gaming Control Act in September of that year. It aimed to keep the industry, and those who participated, honest and fair, while still allowing people to participate in gaming. There were some that were allowed to operate without permits, depending on the amount one could win.
Each territory has different regulations pertaining to the operators that are based there. They are able to advertise outside of Australia, and remain Australian-based. They are, however, heavily taxed for their income and revenue. For example, in the Australian Capital Territory, they permit bingo, sports betting, poker, lotteries and horse racing. On the other hand, South Australia has heavy fines and even imprisonment for public gaming on their turf. Private gaming was legalized in 1995, however simple public forms of gambling are limited to lottery and horse racing, if the Lotteries Commission licenses it.
When the Commonwealth passed the Interactive Gaming Act in 2001, it cracked down harshly on interactive gaming companies. They aren’t permitted to advertise, “real-money online interactive gambling” to anyone living in Australia. While Australian citizens are allowed to play online games, operators are not permitted to advertise or encourage it. Of course, citizens cannot get into trouble or be fined for engaging in it. Sports betting was able to get around the new law, as it isn’t considered interactive if done before the sport begins.
Government taxation on gambling prize money depends on the person. If you are a professional gambler, and it is your main source of revenue or income, your tax is 30%. However, if you only participate in it recreationally and have another source of income as your primary source, you are able to avoid paying any tax on it. The rules are hard to follow in determining if you are a professional or not, however if you feel you’re not a professional, then you likely are not a professional, regardless of your earnings each year. The Australian government primarily views gains from gambling as good luck, and simply tax the operators.
As an Australian, there are many benefits to online gambling. Many sites offer a free monetary deposit to your account upon signing up, as well as free play games.