What’s Happening to Online Gambling Sites in Australia?

online gambling sites in Australia

Many of you have probably recognized that more and more casinos, sportsbooks, and poker sites are withdrawing from Australia. Below you can learn about the new ligslations that force online gambling sites to leave the Australian market.

In Brief:

  • Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 was signed into law by Governor-General Peter Cosgrove
  • restrictions were tightened to the point that most forms of online gambling in Australia became forbidden
  • only certain forms of sportsbetting are excluded from the law
  • bookmakers cannot offer free best or any other bonus offers to Australian players
  • all major online gambling operators have ceased accepting players from the country


On 9 August 2017, the Australian parliament has passed the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016, introducing new reforms to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 in order to “protect Australians in the online gambling market.” The amendments were created as a response to a report, Review of Illegal Offshore Wagering, that was released by Lead Reviewer in 2015. The amendment

  • clarifies which interactive gambling services are considered prohibited and regulated
  • prohibits unlicensed operators from providing gambling services to Australians
  • introduces a civil penalty regime that will be enforced by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)
  • prohibits in-play betting
  • establishes a list of eligible regulated interactive gambling services
New Australian gambling laws

As set in the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, a gambling service means a service “for the placing, making, receiving or acceptance of bets, […] or for the conduct of a lottery, […] or for the conduct of a game [played for money].” Prohibited internet gambling service stands for all services that are conducted “in the course of carrying on a business” and accept Australian citizens to become a customer of the service. Regulated interactive gambling services include “telephone betting services and online wagering services” on horse races, harness races, and greyhound races, provided by licensed operators.

This means that regular online sportsbetting remains legal in Australia if provided by a licensed operator. In-play sportsbetting, on the other hand, is prohibited. What’s more, online bookmakers are forbidden to offer welcome bonuses, free bets, or any other credit, to Australian players. This amendment was introduced in order to “ensure that Australians are able to choose a preferred wagering operator free from any financial incentive,” said Stephen Conory, executive director of Responsible Wagering Australia.

Sportsbetting and other gambling sites in Asutralia

What does this mean for other gambling sites in Australia? Since the country licenses only online bookmakers, casino, poker, and lottery sites had to leave the market. Here are some experts from a letter sent by a casino on the matter:

“Players from Australia will no longer be able to login and play [and] new players from Asutralia will no longer be accepted.”

Licensed online gambling sites in Asutralia

Yes, online casino and poker sites are not accepting Australian players anymore. Most of them, such as Pokerstars, left the country way before the deadline in hopes to become eligible for a license in the future. Though players can just use a VPN to access any of the poker sites willing to accept their registration, without consumer protection and protective measurements they could face many dangers.

The ACMA was given more power to oversee and regulate the Australian gambling market. The Authority will issue formal warnings and infringement notices, and apply to the Federal Court for civil penalty orders or injunctions.” They will also notify international regulators if a site from their jurisdiction breaches Australian gambling laws. Most importantly, the ACMA will comply the list of registered and licensed online gambling operators in Australia.

List of licensed sportsbetting sites in Asutralia

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