Australians are known for their love of pub slot machines, known locally as pokies, but what do they do when they can’t get to the local pub? Many Australians are turning to online gambling as a way to get their pokies fix without the hassle of leaving the house, and we’ve seen a huge surge in Australian and New Zealand gambling sites set up for just this purpose.
It’s not just pokies, online gambling stretches across the full spectrum of casino games including games more traditionally reserved for bricks and mortar casinos like roulette, blackjack and even baccarat. With live streaming technology, gamblers can play at their casino of choice via video link and get the full online casino experience without having to go out of their front door.
While all this is great, many online gamblers are rightly concerned about whether or not they are doing anything illegal by partaking of the many online casino providers in New Zealand and Australia. If you are gambling online anywhere in Australia, rest assured, you are not breaking the law. According to Australian gambling regulations, it’s not a crime to gamble online but it is an offence to operate an online gambling site in Australia, unless it meets certain criteria.
In spite of the legal restrictions there is a great selection of online casino options for local players, and many of these get around the laws by being registered outside Australia, which means that they are safe from prosecution by the Commonwealth government.
Last year the Australian government introduced the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016, which is an attempt at curtailing the activities of online gambling operators. This bill was more concerned with online sports betting than online casinos but it will be interesting to see if it has an impact. The bill also includes a provision for the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to issue warnings, civil penalties, injunctions and infringement notices to any online gambling provider it deems to be illegal.
While the future of Australian online gambling is unknown, at the present moment, you’re not breaking the law by taking advantage of the many online gambling options available in New Zealand and Australia. It’s clear that online gambling is here to stay and hopefully this will continue for many years to come!