How is Gambling Regulated in Australia?

gambling rules

Hobbies are an ineludibly part of our life. Even psychologists recommend having some hobbies, which help in reduce stress and add as a door of escape and recreation. One of the hobbies, which Australians have wholeheartedly adopted, is gambling. It’s is quite understandable too, which other hobby will fetch your money and fun at the same time?

Let us look at some of the historical backgrounds of gambling in Australia. if you look back in time, 150 years ago, the status of gambling was not the same as it is today. The origin of gambling can be dated back to the 1800s. The first records of gambling in the form of horse racing were recorded in Australia in 1810. 

Back then, the racing competition was divided into three days, each day horses were supposed to run a two-mile race and the winner was chosen from the best performer from the combined performance of all three days. it was inevitably very difficult to win a gamble in those days when compared with today. 

Later in the 1880s lottery was introduced and since it was not legal, the organisers used to ambulate from one place to another after they got shut from the previous location. By the 1950s, slot machines came into existence thus, ushering in a new era of gambling. The first casino in Australia was opened as late as 1973. 

Taxation on gambling

Australian authorities decide not to tax the money won by punters because of two reasons. One that gambling is not considered as a profession by the authorities and the money that is won is not an income, it is won by sheer luck. Second, people have an equal chance of winning and losing in gambling.

However, this does not mean that gambling activity is out of the clutches of taxation laws. The government taxes the operators of gambling. All gambling operators are required to deposit a licence fee to procure the licence of gambling. A licence is mandatory for operating a gambling business. 

Legislation on gambling

The interactive Gambling Act was passed in 2001 to protect Aussies from all the possible problems, which are associated with gambling. The instant act has a lucid mention of all the prohibited activities related to gambling in Australia. the following are banned: 

1- All interactive gambling services are prohibited thus, cannot be offered to customers. 

2- Unlicenced regulated gambling services cannot be provided to customers. 

3- All the banned interactive gambling services must not be advertised. 

4- Australian-based interactive gambling services that are prohibited must not be offered to the customers.

5- Regulated yet unlicensed interactive gambling services cannot be advertised in Australia. 


These regulations have put an embargo on a majority of online betting games except for auto racing and sports betting. Since Australia is a federation, the legislation making power is split between the state and federal governments. The IGA prevails over states and territories to the extent of any inconsistency in the local laws and territories can have additional laws in place.