Australia's online gambling policies are dictated by the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) of 2001. The Act prohibits an operator from offering online casino gaming and poker to people located in Australia. It is also illegal to advertise online casino and poker services in Australia.
Online lotteries and the sale of lottery tickets over the Internet, as well as sports wagering and race wagering, are viewed as extensions of land-based offerings and are licensed and regulated by the individual states and territories of Australia. Wagering on a sport, race, or other event after it has already begun is not permitted, nor are keno-style games, scratch tickets, or instant lotteries.
Most Australian states and territories have licensing regimes for sports wagering and lotteries, but many of them permit only the state-authorized totalizator to offer sports betting. Tasmania licenses peer-to-peer betting exchanges.
Talks in 2010 about implementing a censorship plan in Australia would affect whether Australian residents would have access to online gambling sites not licensed in the country.
In October 2009, an independent advisory body on gambling policy recommended that Australia lift its eight-year-old ban on online gambling. The Productivity Commission recommended that the government repeal the 2001 IGA to allow operators to offer poker and casino products to residents. The repeal was rejected because no evidence supported the argument that the benefits of liberalizing online gaming outweighed the risks of an increase in problem gambling.
Another attempt to regulate online gambling was underway in early 2011 with researchers at Southern Cross University in New South Wales conducting a survey with the objective of understanding gambling behavior in Australia.
In early 2012, an interim report was released with proposals to liberalize the online gaming laws to include access to legal online poker tournaments and live in-play sports betting, which is currently legal via phone or in person. The liberalization would assist with protecting players who are already spending up to $1 billion a year with offshore illegal sites. The proposals include self-exclusion from gaming sites, pre-commitment, and easy accessible data as to how much a player is spending. It was recommended that a trial of online poker be implemented with licenses being issued to operators with the condition that online casino-style games are not offered as they would remain illegal. Micro-bets would be banned online and states would be encouraged to ban them as well at physical betting locations. Other proposals include linking online gaming laws and match-fixing laws; federal police action against online sites offering illegal games, including placing directors on a migration alert list; appointing the Australian Communications and Media Authority to oversee online gambling and civil penalties; holding company directors liable for running banned gambling services; and requiring ISPs to issue warnings when players click onto illegal sites. As of December 2012, no action has been taken by the government to implement any of the proposals.
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Australia Jurisdiction News
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