Online gaming laws are a constant source of debate in this country, and one of the most frequent topics of discussion is whether it is legal for residents of the Australian Capital Territory to play real money casino games online. We’ll cut through the confusion here and explain in clear terms why ACT gamblers are completely within their rights to play online pokies, blackjack, roulette and more via the Web.
How the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act affects you
The Interactive Gambling Act (IGA), which was passed by the Federal Government of Australia in 2001, is the main source of doubt for online gamblers in the ACT. While it is widely known that this piece of legislation aims to regulate and restrict Internet gambling practices, a lot of people don’t understand what it actually means for the regular punter.
The IGA prevents operators from offering or advertising interactive real money gambling to residents of the ACT and the wider national community. Specifically, this means both offshore and Australian-based gaming operators cannot promote Internet casino games, online poker, or in-play sports betting within these borders.
We could go into much more detail about how these laws may or may not affect digital casino companies and online bookmakers, but the important thing is this: players of legal age residing in the ACT, or any other Australian state or territory, cannot be punished for gambling over the Net. It is perfectly legal for Aussie adults to bet real cash online, and nothing in the IGA 2001 prevents that.
Are offshore casino sites illegal?
Now, this is where things are a little bit murkier – but not for the punters, we stress. ACT residents cannot be prosecuted for accessing and playing virtual casino games online, no matter where they do it.
The IGA banned Australian operators from offering real money gaming to users within this country – this is well known. What a lot of folks don’t know is that, technically, these laws also apply to gambling sites based overseas.
So, why do offshore casinos continue to accept customers from the Australian Capital Territory, and why do we at BestOnlineCasinos.net.au recommend a few such sites?
For one, the Australian government has never made any real attempt to prosecute these international gaming operators. It’s hard to see how such a move would even be feasible, considering most of these companies exist on the other side of the globe in jurisdictions where the laws are different.
For another, we only recommend real money gambling websites which meet the very highest standards for privacy, security and fairness. Every name on our list of trusted online casinos is fully licensed by an overseas gaming authority, has been tested and approved by leading industry watchdogs such as eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance), and uses certified 128-bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer) digital encryptions to keep all your cash and personal details safe.
But, yet again, the main reason we have no issue suggesting respected offshore gaming operators is because there is no risk of ACT residents getting into any legal trouble for using them. We at CS play at these sites ourselves, and you can be fairly sure we don’t go flirting with jail time just for the heck of it.
Legal real money casino games for ACT players
- Internet pokies and progressive jackpots
- Online blackjack, pontoon and other forms of 21
- Real money roulette
- Baccarat, craps, casino hold’em, pai gow poker and all other table games
- Online video poker
- Live dealer casino games
- Everything else at our top-ranked Web casinos for Australians
Sports betting, real money poker and Internet bingo are also legal to play and widely available. You can also buy tickets online for all the major Australian lotteries, and even instant-win scratchies – which are prohibited at Aus-based operators – can be found at many AUD casino sites.
IGA updates and the future of online gaming
Gambling reform will always be a big talking point in a country where more people per capita bet on sports, pokie machines and casino games than anywhere else in the world. However, and thanks in no small part to a succession of unstable national governments, all the talk has brought about very little change in recent years.
Indeed, online gaming laws for ACT players are more or less the same as they were when the IGA was introduced in 2001. That legislation was put up for review in 2011, with a major focus on adjustments to accommodate the rise of mobile betting, but there is nothing new which directly affects the punter.
Of course, things are liable to change one way or the other at some point down the track. If there are any developments at all which might affect Australian casino players in the ACT, we will let you know ASAP.