Australia has a complex and ever-changing regulatory landscape for online gambling. The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA) sets out the general framework for online gambling in Australia, but there is also significant variation in state and territory laws.Under the IGA, it is illegal for gambling providers to offer certain online gambling services to people in Australia. These banned services include:
However, other forms of online gambling, such as online sports betting and online poker, are permitted, provided that the gambling provider is licensed by the Australia Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
In addition to the IGA, there are also a number of state and territory laws that regulate online gambling. For example, in New South Wales, it is illegal to advertise gambling services on the internet. In Victoria, it is illegal for gambling providers to offer credit to Australian customers.
The Australian government is currently considering a number of reforms to online gambling regulation. These reforms include:
- Banning the use of credit cards for online gambling
- Introducing a new classification for games with loot boxes
- Establishing a national self-exclusion register for online gamblers
The need for reform
There is a growing consensus among gambling experts that Australia’s online gambling regulation is outdated and in need of reform. The current laws were introduced in 2001, before the advent of smartphones and tablets, and they are no longer effective in protecting consumers from the risks of online gambling.
One of the biggest concerns is the rise of illegal online casinos. These casinos are not licensed by the ACMA and they are therefore not subject to Australian consumer protection laws. This means that Australian consumers who gamble at illegal online casinos are at risk of losing their money and having their personal information stolen.
Another concern is the aggressive marketing of online gambling services to Australian consumers. Online gambling providers often use sports sponsorship, celebrity endorsements, and social media to target Australian consumers. This marketing can be particularly harmful to vulnerable Australians, such as those who are already struggling with gambling addiction.