Active Players: 19.440.000
Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD)
Regulated Gambling Products: Sports betting (excluding in play betting), casino games, Pokies (poker terminals and slots), Keno, Lotteries
Operator types: Online bookmakers, land based betting shops (TAB), Land based & online casinos, video terminals in shops
Designated authority: Various state & territory authorities
Status: Regulated for both online & offline licensed betting sites in Australia
Australia is the sixth largest nation in the world and one of the most sparsely populated countries, with a population density of only two people per square mile. Despite this fact, Australians are the most dedicated gamblers in the world, given that 80% of all Aussies engage in games of skill or luck, each week. Although these mainly include “pokies”, poker terminals and slots found in almost every shop in the country, online betting in Australia is not only one of the favorite pastimes, but also completely legal and tax free to its citizens.
Here’s what you need to know
- You can not bet if you are younger than 18
- You are free to punt on any online betting firm in Australia, without legal repercussions
- All winnings are tax free
- In play betting is not allowed on TABs (totalisator agency boards) or online betting firms, however many off shore bookmakers offer live betting
- Your financial security is guaranteed from the various regulatory boards
Australia is truly a betting paradise, concerning both players and companies. Almost any type of gambling is allowed, (excluding the recently banned greyhounds races and in play betting), with the only obligation being to follow the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 (IGA) and pay the according licensing fees. Betting firms are split to online sports betting websites and betting shops that operate under a TAB monopoly. Currently all licensed bookmakers have to pay about 10% of their gross gaming revenue in taxes, however there are plans for a unified 15% on all profits surpassing 150.000 AUD.
Australia is perhaps the most player friend country in the world, given that there are no restrictions on where and what you should wager on. You can choose from any licensed bookmaker and technically even bet on the prohibited in play betting, without any problems, as the government is not after the players in case the law is breached. You are also guaranteed to receive your winnings or any kind of reimbursement, as the regulatory authorities of each state, strive to protect the players’ rights. Finally, the Australian government, considers gambling as a recreational activity, so your payouts will not be tax-trimmed nor will you have to state your winnings on your income tax return. In order to deter minors from gambling, all betting firms in Australia will ask you to complete a mandatory identification validation, usually by sending your ID and proof of residence.
Competition among bookmakers
It would not be an exaggeration to say that Australia is like the “wild west” of online betting. Countless sports betting firms are trying to gain an edge against each other, by offering new promotions and sports markets to help expand their player base. However, this is harder than one can imagine, since the IGA strictly prohibits advertising gambling products and more importantly, offering live betting. However, you can find many respected off shore bookies that accept such bets, while there is also increased speculation of a reform on the IGA, to specifically allow in play betting.
Deposits and withdrawals
You can use a multitude of payment methods on any licensed Australian bookies, as there are no restrictions on how you can top up your account. These include credit & debit cards, bank wire transfers, PayPal, the betting e-wallets of Neteller & Skrill and pre paid cards such as Paysafe cards. Australia is also home of two unique payment methods, POLi and Bookmaker Cards. POLi stands for Pay OnLine and allows you to link your bank and bookie accounts, in order to make instant payments. Bookmakers cards, do the exact opposite, by letting you withdraw money directly from your betting account on any ATM in Australia.
My feelings are mixed when it comes to how betting is regulated in Australia. Surely, the live betting ban and the fact that many bookmakers operate without a licence are something that lawmakers should look into. Ηowever the multitude of betting option are without doubt benefiting Aussies, who can place their bets wherever they want, on really high odds. If any changes were to be implemented, they should be done in order to enhance the players’ safety and not attempt to limit the number of bookies.
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