Online gambling is incredibly popular in Australia with around 80% of Australians gambling at least once a year. According to data from The Economist, adults in Australia gamble more per capita than in any other nation in the world. This led to many of the world's top online gambling sites to turn their attention to the budding Australian market, including the launch of our Australian-specific Gambling.com.
Unfortunately, the landscape has seen more changes recently, limiting Aussie players in the game types they are allowed to enjoy. So let’s take a look at the current shape of gambling in ‘The Lucky Country’ – as it was once called – and see all that online gambling in Australia has to offer!
While in the past Australian punters were free to enjoy almost every form of online gambling (this was a little bit of grey area sometimes), this all changed when the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016, an amendment of the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 (IGA), had been passed. Australian gamblers are no longer allowed to access casino or poker sites. Sports betting and lotteries are allowed, provided this happens before the event or draw. This means in-play betting and instant win scratch cards are prohibited. In addition, the loophole that enabled players to surpass the live betting ban (“click-to-call” betting) is no longer allowed.
While Aussie players won’t be penalised for making use of the services, the amendments caused many reliable licensed operators to pull out of the Australian market, increasing the risk of unsafe player environments. Fortunately, we at Gambling.com Australia have got you covered and only recommend the best and most reliable gambling sites for you.
The first, legal, land-based casino in Australia opened in 1973 and, ever since, poker machines - or 'pokies' as Australians like to call them – have been a big draw for gamblers across the country, with the affectionate slang term often extended to describe gambling machines in general. Today's Aussies often refer to slot machines or slots as 'pokies' as well.
Online poker itself has also grown in popularity, and Australia has even hosted a number of major poker tournaments in recent years, including the inaugural 'World Series of Poker' Asia-Pacific event in 2013. Unfortunately, several years later, the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 states that online poker is illegal.
Australians use online providers to legally bet on a variety of sports, with popular choices including horse racing, rugby (the National Rugby League), football (“soccer”) and, of course, cricket. According to a survey by Sweeney Sports, 59% of Australians are interested in cricket, more than any other sport.
There are other big annual betting events, such as the Australian F1 Grand Prix, but another fan favourite is Australian rules football. Few people outside the country know much about it, but Australian rules football, particularly the Australian Football League (AFL), is extremely popular across the nation. In some of the southern states, it even trumps cricket and the Nation Rugby League.
Aussie rules attracts more live spectators each year than any other sport in the country, so it’s no wonder that Australian rules football betting is a popular pastime for many Australians, with online top bookmakers offering Aussie rules betting markets for all the league games and major matches.
While the Australian government means well with these tight regulations to protect its residents, some are worried it’s going to cause the opposite due to the disappearance of reliable gambling platforms. But don’t worry if you’re a casino or poker fanatic. Technology saved us the last time and with new developments and break-throughs on a regular basis, our saviour might be closer than we think!
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