While there are many legal real money casinos for Australians, players will find illegal websites operating on the Internet. These unlicensed sites usually operate offshore, so if the casino doesn’t allow you to withdraw money, there’s no way for an Aussie to collect their winnings.
It’s important to know your chosen gaming website is a legitimate casino. This article will discuss a few recommended websites, while giving tips for verifying whether a site is legit or not. To be considered “legitimate”, an online or mobile casino needs to be registered, regulated, and taxed by a state or territorial government in Australia. In most cases, the site will be licensed by a foreign government. If it isn’t, you put yourself at risk.
Australians can only play at online and mobile casinos operated by foreign companies. Any legal operator is going to be an offshore company. For that reason, it is important you only play at legitimate casinos which have proper licensing. Sites licensed by the Licensing Authority of Gibraltar and the Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta are commonly found in the Australian online market. Websites licensed by either one of these governments should be safe. Verify to be certain a gaming website is licensed in the jurisdiction where it says it’s licensed.
It is also a good idea to verify that an international online gaming operator has a proper license to operate games inside Australia. To double-check claims about licensing, gambles can contact the state authorities listed below.
Verifying the Legitimacy of Online Casinos
To verify the proper licensing of a particular website, call or contact the regulatory authority for the state or territory it claims to have licensing in. Below is a complete listing of the websites for the patchwork of agencies which regulate gambling in Australia. Contact information is available on each of these websites, for citizens interested in gaining more insight.
New South Wales and the ACT
New South Wales has one of the most active regulatory gaming laws in Australia, due to its need to oversee the Star Sydney Casino and the upcoming Crown Sydney Casino. The New South Wales Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing Commission is responsible for the conduct and development of the gaming, racing, charity, and liquor industries in New South Wales.
New South Wales surrounds the Australian Capital Territory, home to Canberra and the national government, including the Australian National Parliament and the offices of the Australian Prime Minister. In the Australian Capital Territory, the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission is responsible for the control and regulation of all gaming-related, racing, and betting activities.
Licensing in South Australian and West Australian
Of the various Australian states, South Australia and West Australia have some of the fewest land-based gaming venues. In South Australia, the Independent Gambling Authority oversees most gaming activities. The Office of the Liquor and Gaming Commissioner handles licensing in the state, which has tried several times to lower its number of pokies. South Australia is one of the Australian states least likely to license online gambling.
In Western Australia, the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor handles the same duties. Most of the state’s regulation focuses on horse tracks and dog tracks, which comprise 42 of the state’s 47 gaming venues. Once again, Western Australia does not license international online and mobile casinos.
Online Gambling Regulation in Victoria and Queensland
The state of Victoria is home to Melbourne (the largest city in Australia). The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation regulates and monitors Victoria’s gambling activities. The Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation also releases periodic information on gaming legislation, public policy, gambling research, and international licensing. Their website has a frequently asked questions page which is useful, along with frequent media releases.
The Queensland Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation is concerned with most forms of gambling in the state. This includes the regulation and oversight of machine gaming in clubs and pubs, lottery betting, keno gambling, land-based casinos, Internet gaming, and art unions.
Northern Territory Licensing
In the Northern Territory, the Licensing Commission administered gaming laws until January 1, 2015. New laws passed in 2014 abolished the NT Licensing Commission, so the Director-General of Licensing for the Northern Territory now handles the NTLC’s former duties as of January 2015. The Northern Territory is one of the most remote and less developed regions of Australia, so it licenses many foreign online gambling companies, to raise revenues. A gaming machine commission handles land-based pokies in the territory, but only 3 brick-and-mortar gaming establishments exist in the Northern Territory.
Gambling Legislation in Tasmania
Tasmania is another region which frequently licensing gambling websites, hoping to raise extra money for the state treasury of the island state. The Tasmanian Gaming Commission oversees the direct regulation of gaming on the island. The Gaming Operations Branch of the Tasmanian Department of Treasury and Finance provides operational support for the Gaming Commission.
These are the state and territorial gaming authorities in Australia. Since the inception of the Internet, the national government has become more directly involved in the regulation of gambling. The Julia Gillard government set up a national gambling control board, but Kevin Rudd and his Coalition government abolished the organization shortly after its election in September 2013. The conservatives wanted full authority to return to the individual state and territorial governments.
Licensed Australian Online Casinos
If the verification process seems too complicated for readers, I’ll provide a suggestion or two of my own. Websites like Platinum Play, Royal Vegas, and EuroPalace Casino are licensed in the state of Malta. These websites use Microgaming software, a leader in the industry. Microgaming has nearly 600 pokies titles, two dozen blackjack variants, even more video poker machines, and countless lesser casino games.
Each of the three websites I discussed are owned by the same operators. Platinum Play has no cash bonus for signups or deposits, but it offers 1500 free spins for signups and 200 free spins for first deposits. Royal Vegas has a maximum AU$1,200 welcome deposit bonus. EuroPalace offers a $500 bonus for mass market players, while offering $1,800 to high rollers who agree to pay at least $1,000 when making their first deposit. Otherwise, the three websites have similar games and payment options.
Any of the three are worthy choices, because each is a legitimate online casino with a good reputation. Punters should make their choices based purely on their preferences involving the signup bonuses, because everything else is equal.