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Online Gaming in Australia

Authored by - Senet

Overview

Open

Australia Online Gaming Overview

There is no single overarching statute regulating gambling activities in Australia, nor is there a single overarching gambling regulator. Instead, gambling in Australia is regulated at the State, Territory and Federal level. Each of Australia’s eight mainland States and Territories separately regulates gambling activities (both land-based and online) within each of their respective jurisdictions. In addition, a series of Federal statutes also cover certain aspects of gambling activity (including protection of personal information) throughout Australia.

Whilst online betting and lotteries are permitted subject to the operator holding an Australian licence (issued by a State or Territory government), online bingo, casino and poker are all currently prohibited.  Skilled games are often difficult to categorise under gambling laws in Australia, however if they are entirely skill based they will typically not be regarded as gambling.  Software / B2B is permitted generally with a relevant licence often being required.

Overall, a traffic light rating of green has been allocated, on the basis that permitted product can be offered pursuant to a licence.

A key attraction to operators in Australia is a robust regulatory framework (online only licences are typically issued in the Northern Territory, subject to the comments in this chapter, without there being any cap) and political and economic stability.  Australia has one of the highest rates of gambling spend on a per capita basis in the world.

Licensing & Regulation

Well-regulated / Unregulated (Open)

Australia Online Gaming Licensing & Regulation

Online gaming is regulated at State, Territory and Federal level in Australia and is a complex area of law. There are broad range of issues associated with online gaming in Australia. Unlike other jurisdictions only certain types of online gaming is permitted and lawful, requiring a licence.  Licences are only issued by the States and Territories.

Over the past few...

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Enforcement

Regular / Punitive

Australia Online Gaming Enforcement

Regulating bodies

Commonwealth / Federal:
As stated in the General marketing section, Australia has Commonwealth, State and Territory legislation which applies to gambling.  The Commonwealth legislation applicable to gambling is the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CCA) and the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (Cth) (IGA).

The  CCA is enforced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which is Australia’s competition regulator....

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Marketing

Permissive

Australia Online Gaming Marketing

Australia has Commonwealth, State and Territory legislation which applies to the advertising of gambling products offline and online. The Commonwealth legislation applicable to all advertising is the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CCA), with the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (Cth) (IGA) applicable to specific gambling advertising which is broadcast on television, radio and over the internet (generally during live sport).

The CCA is...

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Fees

Average

Australia Online Gaming Fees

With the exception of betting, application fees and licence fees for gambling licences in Australia are largely entirely negotiable as part of a competitive process to secure a monopolistic licence.  As such, there is generally no prescribed fees which can be provided as guidance for the purposes of the Australian chapter, unlike various other international jurisdictions. An overview of licence...

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Taxes

Average

Australia Online Gaming Taxes

The State and/or Territory taxes which apply to gambling products depend upon the relevant licence under which the product is being offered, the type of product and also the jurisdiction in which the product is offered. Each of these are covered in the sub-sections below.

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Future Outlook

Positive

Australia Online Gaming Future Outlook

The general outlook for land-based gambling and online gambling consisting of betting and lotteries / Keno is positive. There is limited opportunity for the Commonwealth government to legalise online bingo and casino products generally given concerns in relation to responsible gambling and general consumer protection.

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Legal Expert

Senet

Office locations Australia (Melbourne / Sydney)

Senet is Australia’s leading specialist gambling law, regulatory and compliance advisory.  We are a multidisciplinary group with senior industry and regulatory experience and deep knowledge and expertise across the gambling sector. We are the only gambling specialists in Australia whose Principals have also worked at executive level within the industry.  Chambers Global and Chambers Asia Pacific have consistently ranked us as leading gambling and gaming experts since the firm commenced.

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Contact Australia - Senet

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