Sports Betting Regulation In Australia

When considering gambling, the first thing that generally comes to mind are Online casinos. However , with a nation so obsessed with sports, it is only an all-natural consequence that sports betting is commonplace in Australia. But is it legal? What's the present legislation surrounding sports betting in Australia? Discover what our experts share about the current state of sports betting regulation in Australia.

The Share Of Sports Betting In The Australian Market

Government surveys indicate that Australians wagered close to 200 billion dollars in 2016-17. Sports betting makes up about a significant share of the massive market.

Australian punters place bets worth billions of dollars on horse racing, football, rugby, and other popular sports. $33 billion worth of wagers in 2017 alone.

Australians spend an average of $220 per-year per-person on sports betting.

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How Australia Regulates Legal Gambling

From the above figures alone, it's quite clear that gambling is area of the social and cultural fabric of Australian life. To totally understand the legality of sports betting in Australia, it is important to get a notion of how gambling legislation works in Australia.

You will find two degrees of governments who are able to pass laws on gambling in Australia:

  1. The Federal Government
  2. The 8 territorial governments - New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia, Victoria, Northern Territory, and Australian Capital Territory

The government has the constitutional to pass laws that regulate broad dilemmas like trade, money transactions, consumer rights, and telecommunications.

Using these powers, the central government and its own agencies control many areas of gambling in Australia, including online gambling, money laundering and terrorism funding (prevention), and consumer protection.

Beyond this, local territories are liberated to pass their particular laws related to licensing of gambling businesses of their jurisdiction. They create laws and regulations that govern how gambling businesses positioned in these states are designed to conduct business.

The legal status of sports betting in Australia

Sports betting is totally legal in Australia, and it is available both in on the web and offline formats. The primary legislation on gambling in the nation may be the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 (IGA).

Given the massive appetite for gambling among Australians, outright prohibition was never going to be described as a viable solution.

The IGA was passed to make a well-regulated domestic betting industry that serves the Australian consumers under the watchful eyes of government agencies.

The principal watchdog for the industry in Australia may be the Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA).

By 2019, what the law states plainly mandates that only domestic sportsbooks are allowed to serve Australian customers.

In order to do so , they require different licenses to provide sports betting in Australia:

  1. Operator license is mandatory to offer tote betting on racing and fixed/odds betting on racing and other sports.
  2. Bookmaker license is important to conduct sports and racing bookmaking in Australia.

Operator license allows businesses to offer sports betting in various forms, at racecourses, retail outlets, and most popularly through on the web websites/apps, and by telephone.

Interestingly, a lot of the bookmaker’s licenses are concentrated in the Northern Territory due to its favorable laws.

All the big corporate entities in sports betting have their bases in this state. They are able to offer on the web and telephone-based betting markets on racing and other sports.

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The Status Of Offshore Sportsbooks

Prior to 2018, there have been certain grey areas in the IGA provisions which provided loopholes for offshore operators to serve Australian clients.

This generated a proliferation of both licensed and unlicensed sportsbooks taking bets from Australian punters. There was one key basis for the success of these operators - not enough live in-play betting in Australia.

The Australian gambling laws don't allow licensed sportsbooks to offer live bets during sports matches - all of the bets need to be placed beforehand.

Unfettered by these local laws, foreign operators were free to provide the excitement of live bets, and gain untaxed revenues along the way. A lot of them were licensed in britain, EU, the Caribbean, and the usa.

This example persisted until 2018, if the government passed amendments to the IGA that did two things:

  1. It removed the confusion/ambiguity regarding offshore sportsbooks - they have been now explicitly illegal in Australia, unless they have a valid license issued by an Australian authority.
  2. Credit betting and in-play betting services are also explicitly prohibited in Australia.

The ACMA was armed with formidable powers, like the ability to issue fines of huge amount of money daily to individuals and operators who violate the brand new law.

It has resulted in a crackdown on overseas sportsbooks, a lot of which were forced to shut their services to the Australian market.

Popular sports betting markets in Australia

Despite its relatively low citizenry of just around 25 million, Australia is a sporting powerhouse in several fields like cricket, rugby, and swimming. The country is passionate about sports, and bookmakers accept bets on many sporting events, both inside the country along with in foreign locations.

The following are typically the most popular sports that Australians bet regularly:

  1. Rugby League: the domestic competition is called the National Rugby League (NRL). You are able to place bets on NRL matches along with international tournaments relating to the Wallabies (the Australian national team)
  2. Football: the A-league may be the domestic league of Australia. Bets may be added to A-League matches along with popular European leagues like English Premier League and the Spanish La Liga.
  3. NFL & AFL: both Australian Rules football and American Football (gridiron) have strong fan bases in Australia. Both leagues are popular targets for punters.
  4. Tennis, cricket, and other sports/athletics: Other less popular betting markets include these sports matches and tournaments. The Australian open and crucial cricket tournaments such as the World Cup and The Ashes make a whole lot of bets to sportsbooks in Australia.

Conclusion

Sports betting is legal in Australia, but at the mercy of stringent provisions and restrictions. Only domestic licensed operators can offer sports betting services to Australian punters.

The law has been further strengthened lately to successfully curb the proliferation of illegal offshore sportsbooks.

For Australian players, the impact is mixed, but significantly positive - they don’t get access to exciting avenues like live in-play betting, but as a trade-off, they do have provisions to guard their right as customers of a legal, regulated industry.