Gambling Laws in AU

Millions of adults globally enjoy gambling, and it is also a very complex topic for specific legislative statutes.

The complexity in defining what is legal makes the laws that regulate gambling vary tremendously from country to country. Gambling legislation can often differ widely within different regions of a single nation.

History of gambling in AU

The Gambling Act of 1908 was enacted in the country and made all gambling activities illegal excluding betting at the horse track.

In 1920, the AU parliament outlawed bookmaking and deemed horse racing illegal up until 1960, when it was ruled legal, but only on the horse track.

In 1977 the Gaming and Lotteries Act was passed in AU, followed by the Casino Act of 1990. After the Casino Act, the AU government approved the use of slot machines.

Slot machines, or as they are known in AU Pokies was legal; this led to the first casino to open in 1994.

Gambling act 2003

The Australia casino act was enacted, which is an update or replacement of the 2003 statute that combines all gambling activities under one universally settled law.

The bill was initially introduced in February 2002 in AU. In 2005 the Gambling Amendment Act was introduced in AU, which was initiated to enhance and add the provision to the 2003 Gambling Act.

The 2003 Gambling Act deemed all gambling illegal unless the government runs it. There are four defined gambling classes in AU, and they are all regulated separately and require a license for each.

NZ Class one, two and three define regulation on prize, rules and generally governs funding generated by the gambling activity, and turnover amounts allowed.

Class 4 defines control on gambling machines outside of casinos. The Act of 2015 was enacted to clarify wording and interpretation of the original bill to ensure the citizens remain protected from the potential adverse effects of gambling.

Gambling laws in present

Today gambling laws today are defined as age restrictions depending on the activity or type of gambling. Individuals must be 20 years or older to enter a casino legally and 18 years or older to bet on sports, lottery tickets or scratch-offs.

Today it is only legal for AUs to gamble at casinos and illegal to do any remote gambling, this includes online gaming. However, it is unlawful to bet remotely if the hosted gambling site is in AU.

The overall point of the Act is to ensure proceeds from gambling activities are used to benefit the community of the country.


Gambling can potentially be a severe problem, so gambling laws are formulated to protect and initiate protections for the community.

The rules are designed to control the growth of gambling in the country by creating an environment to ensures fairness and minimize the damages or threats to the AU citizens often associated with gambling.

The laws also set out to:

  • Regulate and limit illegal activity related to gaming
  • Encourage the involvement and participation from the AU community in the regulation of gambling
  • Oversee and define what gambling activities are legal and unlawful

Gambling comission

As part of AU’s Gambling Act 2003, the gambling commission was established. The Commission is the authorizing body that has the authority to approve gambling applications, and generally all things related to gambling in the country.

Other Commission authorities include but are not limited to appeals by organizations on the various Gambling Class interpretation and enforcement, curb setting of gambling levies as interpreted by the Advising Ministers.

The AU Commission also has the power to define its procedures in the understanding of the Act 2003.


According to Act 2003, online gambling is only legal if the government fully regulates it.

The law also dictates that any resident that is of the legal age can legally gamble online if the online gaming hosting is located outside of the country (overseas).

This regulation applies to online sports betting and online poker games.

Yes, it is 100% legal to bet online in AU, if the online casino is based outside the country.

This move by the government frees the land from liability associated with online gambling activities.

This regulation applies to any online gambling including but not limited to sports betting, poker and other card games, and online casinos.

How are players protected?

Being that online gambling is legal only if the hosting of the site is outside of the jurisdiction of AU, AUs are still very much protected by the law.

The protection is assured to the player, as the explicit and strict rules that govern all online casino operators.

The security of the online player is in the form of the license of the hosting party is enforced by a regulator.

The licensing regulator is there to review any issues occurring regarding unfairness or damages to the online gambler. The online casino operator may risk gambling license suspension indefinitely and possibly future lawsuits.

Players should always play for fun and play responsibly because there is no law that can protect players if they don’t play responsibly.

Learn more about responsible gambling policy and pick casinos with reliable licenses.

NZ gambling statistics

How much does each kiwi spend on gambling on average? Each year, every AU spends an average of $ 648.

Which products are played the most?Pokies
How much does AUs play for in total per year?$2.38b
When did Australia get its very first slot machine?1980
Are there many gambling addicts in Australia?NZ has a score of 0,2% which is the lowest in the world, so no!
How much does AUs spend on offshore casinos each year?$300 millions
How old is the average player from Australia?37 years old
How many of the players are women?48%

Frequently asked questions

Is it legal to gamble online in AU?

Yes! It is legal to gamble at casinos that are based outside of Australia.

Is online gambling safe for AUs?

Yes! While online is gambling is restricted overseas as the hosting, there are still the same protections in place to govern and protect the citizens.

What is Class two and three gambling?

Gambling not involving commissions paid to the house, or the person conducting the game.

How is private gambling regulated?

While the Gambling Act does not explicitly apply to private gambling in AU, there are still stipulations spelled out in the Gambling Act, that governs and regulates it.