Whether it's online or offline, gambling in Australia is a huge industry with countless options to appeal to every betting man and woman. There are literally thousands of brick-and-mortar casinos, bingo halls, and other gambling establishments situated all over the country, so citizens can get out and battle the odds to their hearts' content. Online gambling is also an enormously popular avenue for Australian gamblers, and with a basic understanding of the legalities involved (see below), anyone can enjoy the thrill of the chase from the comfort of home thanks to countless websites catering to people all over the globe. So to clarify what's out there, we've put together an easy guide highlighting the state of gambling in Australia, both offline and online, including a general overview, gambling options, and of course, the ever-important laws to ensure you play safely and legally.
In a word: big. Between online and offline gambling options, roughly 70-percent of Australians partake in gambling each year, which is the highest participation rate of any country in the world. Annually, we collectively spend upward of $20 billion through the multitude of available gambling channels, from scratchies to electronic gaming machines. Not surprisingly, the state tax revenue is considerable and gambling-related employment is significant. For example, in 2008-09, 5,700 pubs and clubs offered gambling in some form, so imagine all the people required to ensure the process runs smoothly. And that number has grown rapidly since then and will continue to do so with each passing year.
Gambling Options in AustraliaWhen it comes to offline gambling options, Australians love them all. There are plenty of casinos to choose from, including Melbourne's famous Crown Casino and the Star City Casino in Sydney. These establishments offer gambling options like poker, roulette, and all the other coveted table games, as well as keno and electronic gaming machines (also known as "pokies"), which are perhaps the most popular form of offline gambling in Australia. Lotteries are also hugely popular, as are "scratchies," which are actually one of the most popular gambling options, even though they generate a relatively small amount of revenue compared to other outlets. And you can't forget sports betting, whether it's racing or other events, and bingo, which is regularly utilized as a fundraising avenue for charitable causes.
Online gaming is also hugely popular in Australia, you just have to understand the legalities involved, which we've outlined below. Jumping online for everything from poker to pokies is easy and totally safe as long as you do a little research and know the laws.
Nearly every variety of offline gambling is legal and readily available in Australia, which speaks to its unwavering popularity. From poker to pokies, if you want it, you'll find it in one of our casinos, clubs, or pubs, as long as they adhere to the guidelines enforced by our national government. As far as lotteries, the following Australian lottery companies are charged with regulating legal lotteries around the country: Tatts Group Limited, Intralot Australia, South Australian Lotteries, and Lotteryest. Things like scratchies, bingo, keno, and The Soccer Pools fall under the lottery jurisdiction as well and are monitored by the same governing bodies.
Online gambling, however, is a bit trickier, but still easily enjoyed if you know the laws. In short, the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) prohibits businesses from operating and advertising online casinos in Australia, as well as accepting payment from the country's citizens. But it allows Aussies to continue enjoying online gambling as they've always done. International casinos, who are beholden only to their own respective country's laws, can and do market to Aussies while happily providing gambling services and accepting payment. Plus, the IGA does not prohibit Australian citizens from placing online bets, nor does it make illegal sports betting and lottery sites.
Gambling has been a huge part of Australian culture for centuries, and it shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, the industry continues to bring in, and pay out, more money with every passing year, which is just how we like it. Whether you prefer your gambling online, offline, or a combination of the two, Aussies have as many gambling options as any other country around the globe and the laws (and loopholes) in place to ensure we can wager with the best of them.