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Key Laws Governing Gambling in Australia

The gambling market, including lotteries, sports betting and online wagering, is strictly regulated in Australia and is subject to licensing. Thus, people and operators looking to step into the Australian gaming industry need to carefully review all key regulations and laws of the exact states and regions of the country.

In this article, we will have a quick look at the main rules of the Australian gambling regulatory landscape and see what is allowed and what is prohibited for gaming enthusiasts. 

Regulations for Different Types of Gambling Activities

Compliance requirements in Australia can differ depending on various factors, including the state and territory, as well as the type of gaming activity. 

Here, we outlined the core types of gambling/gaming activities that must follow regulations:

  • Casinos: Land-based casino venues operating in Australia should abide by strict licensing requirements and regulations advocated by state authorities. A casino operator license, as well as gaming venue and machine licenses, are the main requirements. Normally, casino licenses can only be applied through a competitive tender process run by the relevant territory or state. Also, the number of gaming machines allowed in one casino is limited and will depend on the specific license type the operator has. But in online casinos the license is cheaper so new sites with online casinos have more slot machines.
  • Gaming Machine Operators: In order to operate gaming machines like slot machines or poker in the country, gambling venues should have a permit/license for each game machine. The only exception to this is the casino operator license, which normally comes with permission to operate game machines within the casino premises. Each territory and state in Australia has a relevant Casino Control Act under which gaming machine licenses are issued.
  • Bookmakers:  Bookmaking is only allowed under a sports bookmaker or similar license that is generally given in the NT (Corporate Bookmaker Licence). Alternatively, bookmaking in Australia is also possible through an on-course bookmaker license issued in a state or territory to an individual bookmaker. When appropriately licensed, on-course Bookmakers can accept wagers on-course, as well as via the Internet and over the telephone.
  • Keno and Lottery Operators: Operators of keno and lottery games should follow the regulations specific to their jurisdictions. Licenses for these operators are very limited in number and are usually monopolistic. Also, they typically have exclusivity periods attached to them. This means once the license date expires, the operator should reapply for a new one or stop its activity.
  • Bingo Providers: Laws for bingo games vary depending on a specific state and territory. According to the 2015 report by Australian Gambling Research, Bingo is the 7th most popular gambling activity in the country, with 3% of 6.8 million regular gamblers. Based on the same research, bingo accounts for only 1% of the total gambling expenditure in Australia. In most states, no license is required to offer this casino activity.

In addition, people who engage in gaming activities should also follow some relevant regulations. For example, to be able to gamble in Australia, you should be over 18.

Who Regulates the Gambling Market in Australia

(Source – freepik.com)

It’s true that at the federal level, online gambling in Australia is regulated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (Cth) (IGA). However, all gaming activities here are mainly monitored and regulated at the state/territory level. 

Each of the 8 mainland territories and states in Australia has separate and independent gambling authorities within each of their jurisdictions. In addition, there are also a series of federal statutes covering specific aspects of gambling activity, like iGaming, licensing, use of electronic money (payid),  etc., throughout the country. 

Below, we have highlighted all the regulatory bodies responsible for monitoring gaming and betting in each state of Australia. Let’s have a look.

State Regulator
NSW (New South Wales)
  1. L&GNSW (Liquor and Gaming New South Wales) which is responsible for licensing and compliance.
  2. ILGA (The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority) is an independent institution in charge of a diversity of liquor, gaming machines, and registered club regulatory functions.
  3. NICC (The NSW Independent Casino Commission) is in control of regulating all new casinos in New South Wales.
Vic (Victoria)
  1. VGCCC (The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission) is an independent gambling regulator for monitoring compliance and licensing.
  2. The Office of Liquor and Gaming is part of Victoria’s Department of Justice and Community Safety and is responsible for controlling legislation, policy, major licensing, and regulation.
ACT (Australian Capital Territory) GRC (The Gambling and Racing Commission) is the independent gambling regulatory body of the Australian Capital Territory responsible for compliance, education, and licensing.
Qid (Queensland)
  1. QOLGR (The Queensland Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation) is mainly liable for licensing and compliance.
  2. QORP (The Office of Regulatory Policy) is for policy and legislative development for the regulation of gaming, liquor, and fair trading. It also manages harm minimization programs for the gaming and liquor markets.
Tas (Tasmania) TLGC (The Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission) is a part of the Department of Treasury and Finance and carries the responsibility for compliance and licensing.
SA (South Australia)
  1. LCSA (The Lotteries Commission of South Australia) is a part of the Auditor General’s Department and is in charge of promoting and conducting lotteries within the state.
  2. CBS (Consumer and Business Services) has the primary function of regulating policy, compliance and licensing in relation to casinos, betting, lotteries, and gaming machines.
NT (Northern Territory) NTRC (The Northern Territory Racing Commission), along with Licensing NT, is responsible for licensing and compliance and is within the NT Department of the Attorney-General and Justice.
WA (Western Australia) The Western Australian Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor is in control of policy, compliance, and licensing matters.

As for online gambling regulations, only local operators and new online casinos with relevant licenses can provide gambling services to Aussie players.

NAV

Editor-in-Chief at DroidJournal. A tech-enthusiast, guitarist, and an anime fanboy!

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