Betting Legalities

Australian Betting Legalities

The Australian betting legalities can often be confusing. The reason for this is because of the majority of information, laws, and acts on this topic. 

So, we wanted to simplify all those acts and regulations into one article. Here, you can read all the essential things about Australian betting legalities.

We hope that with this article, everyone will understand this topic much better. Also, we hope the information shared here will serve you as the ultimate guide.

A definition of betting/gambling in Australia

To understand Australian betting legalities better, we must look at legal definitions. We must first get familiar with the legal terms and clarify what they cover.

Providing a legal definition of betting and gambling in Australia can be difficult. However, this is the simplest way to define those terms.

Therefore, gambling or betting is an activity involving staking money or other real-world value. This staking is on the outcome of an event determined in part or in full by chance. The best examples to describe this legal definition are:

They are combined with the person’s intent to win a prize or something else of value.

Gambling/betting policies

After seeing the legal definition of gambling or betting in Australia, let’s move on. In Australia, there is a general prohibition in all jurisdictions on the promotion and conduct of gambling.

Of course, there are existing legislative exemptions for gambling activities. Those activities are only conducted under a particular licence.

These activities include:

  • Sports betting (both online and in venues) and wagering;
  • Land-based casinos where people play casino games. Most popular games are baccarat, blackjack, and poker (among others);
  • Lotteries (both types, in venues and online);
  • Slot machines, ‘pokies’ (just in venues and not online), and electronic gaming machines.

There is a reason for this paternalistic approach to regulating betting services. This regulation is by the Australian state and the federal government and responds to many concerns.

These concerns originate from all adverse social consequences associated with betting/gambling.

Which Online Gambling/Betting Companies Are Legal in Australia?

In Australia, there are only a few leading gambling businesses. Some are located and registered in Australia, and others are overseas. 

These companies conduct business under a licence. The licence is granted by a territory government (also known as a regulator) or the state.

The principal licenced gambling/betting operators are:

  1. The Star Entertainment Group Limited (The Star). This gambling business operates casinos in Queensland and Sydney.
  2. Sportsbet Pty Limited (Sportsbet). This sports bookmaker has a licence in the Northern Territory. The owner is Flutter Entertainment plc.
  3. All listed businesses are suppliers of gaming machines:
  • Scientific Games Australia;
  • Aristocrat Leisure Limited;
  • Aruze Australia;
  • Ainsworth Game Technology;
  • International Game Technology (IGT);
  • Scientific Games Australia.
  1. Tabcorp Holdings Limited (Tabcorp). After combining with Tatts Group Limited (Tatts), this business changed. It holds the licences to conduct both totalisators (and off-course betting) and lotteries. They do this through retail outlets in the following locations:
  • New South Wales;
  • The Australian Capital Territory;
  • Queensland;
  • Northern Territory;
  • Victoria;
  • South Australia;
  • Tasmania.
  1. Crown Resorts Limited (Crown Resorts). This business operates casinos in Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne. Also, it conducts a Betfair Australia (licenced in the Northern Territory) and betting exchange.
  2. Entain Group Pty Ltd. This business is trading as and Ladbrokes under Northern Territory sports bookmaking licences. It is a part of the global Entain plc group.

Legal and Regulatory Framework

Regarding betting activities, in Australia, there is no single overarching statute regulating them. There is not even any overarching gambling authority. 

Instead, every state and territory regulates this issue. Also, each state regulates the legality of betting/gambling separately.

The betting issue gets regulated at the state, territorial, and federal levels. This means that different rules apply to the legality of betting. So, this depends on which Australian state or territory you are in.

Australia’s eight territories and mainland states separately regulate betting/gambling activities. They do this within each of their respective jurisdictions.

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