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Online sports betting is legal in Australia, with numerous state licensed sportsbooks in operation. Licensing laws vary from state to state. For example, the sign up promotions that may be offered depend on both the state that the bookmaker is licensed in and the state in which the customer resides. Two laws that apply to all states are (1) you must be 18 or over to gamble and (2) the betting operator must obtain reasonable proof of identify from its customers.
In June 2001, the Australian Government passed the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA). The IGA makes it an offence to offer or advertise ‘real money’ online interactive gambling services, such as online poker and casino, to Australian residents. The law applies to all online operators, regardless of whether they are owned and/or licensed in Australia. Interestingly, adherence to the IGA is the responsibility of the gambling operators and not individual Australians. The average Australian citizen cannot be punished for gambling online.1
Under the IGA not all online gambling is prohibited. Sports betting through licensed operators is legal providing the betting occurs prior to the start of the event. Hence, the IGA prohibits the offering of live ‘in-play’ betting, which would be deemed ‘interactive’. Online Lotteries are legal, with the exception of ‘instant-win’ games.
Australian bookmakers are very much against the ban on in-play betting, especially given its popularity in Europe. For years Australian agencies have been seeking law change on live online betting. 2 Most offshore betting providers either ignore, or are unaware of the IGA, and continue to offer live betting to Australian residents.
As things stand, Australian residents can participate in live ‘in-play’ betting offered by international agencies, because any infringements would entail penalties for the betting operator and not the punter.
Notes and Sources
- 1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactive_Gambling_Act
- 2 http://www.aussportsbetting.com/2010/09/07/australian-betting-agencies-live-betting/
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