Do Aussies like to gamble? Oh yes. Do they like roulette? Hell yeah! As sure as they like to drink, Australians are more than partial to a spot of gambling.
Like their New Zealand neighbours, Australians regularly indulge in gambling in all its forms, both online and offline in licensed casinos and betting shops. Sports betting is a big thing in Oz, along with roulette and other casino games including slots. The Australian government lightly regulates gambling throughout the sprawling country, but there is little to stop the average Aussie from gambling wherever and whenever the mood takes them.
Due to the favourable exchange rate that the Australian dollar enjoys, many residents choose to take their business offshore, maximising the roulette returns that come from betting in foreign currencies with favourable odds and generous welcome bonuses.
While Australian roulette hounds are free to gamble at any casino that takes their fancy, some prefer to play at those that support the AUD for simplicity sake, and which have payment methods tailored to the Australian market, including such options as Aussie payment mechanism POLi.
The Origins of Gambling in Australia
Like any immigrant nation, Australia’s gambling traditions were carried to it by the settlers who made the new country their home starting in the 18th century. Card games were naturally popular, not just on account of the Europeans who arrived, but the Chinese too, who introduced their own varieties to the Aboriginal population.
The first gambling laws were enacted in 1852, but even then they permitted horse racing and other types of betting; it was only card games that were curtailed.
In more recent times, Australia’s gambling industry started to grow in the 1970s when the first casinos sprung up, with the government shrewdly calculating the potential tax revenue and wisely deciding that this was a vice they could sanction.
The first casino opened in Hobart in 1973 and was swiftly followed by a string of other casinos that appeared in major cities all around the country.
Like the rest of the developed world, Aussies swiftly took to roulette along with the other table games that these casinos offered. With the rise of internet gambling in the late 90s, the Australian government was forced to bring its laws up to date, which it achieved with the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001.
This limited the extent to which Aussie casinos and roulette sites could market themselves at the populace but the measure proved to be futile, for they were powerless to stop overseas casinos from targeting Aussies. In addition to casinos, Australia has its share of bingo halls, but in typical Aussie fashion, it’s not referred to as bingo – it’s called “housie”, which is a much better name for it.
Playing Roulette at Online Casinos in Australia
The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 does not bar Australian residents from playing roulette and other table games at online casinos. As a result, they’re free to choose whichever casino they like the look of, regardless of where it’s located in the world. Many overseas casinos accept deposits in AUD and provide regional payment options that cater to the Australian banking system.
Within Australia, the country also has numerous licensed online sports betting sites, which are regulated by TAB.
It should be noted that the Interactive Gambling Act does not make any provision for Australian residents who encounter difficulties when gambling at overseas casinos. As a consequence, if you’re an Australian citizen, it makes sense to choose to play roulette at a reputable casino to play at that has good customer feedback to prevent any such issues from arising.
Roulette Regulation in Australia
As is customary for a Commonwealth nation, responsibility for regulating Australia’s gambling trade falls largely to the states and territories that make up the country. These include the Australian Capital Territory’s Gambling and Racing Commission, the New South Wales Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing and the Northern Territory’s Licensing Commission.
There is no tax liable on gambling winnings, so roulette players can wager freely and win freely without fear of having a chunk taken out of their winnings. Only the casino and betting operators are taxed by the Aussie government.
Regional Regulation in Australia
While Australia’s national government has the final say in how its citizens are allowed to gamble, it leaves much of the day-to-day workings to its regional territories. It is up to each territory to regulate its casinos, the level of tax that gambling operators must pay and suchlike.
In total, there are eight regional bodies who control Australia’s gambling on a territorial basis. In Victoria, for example, that duty falls to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, while in South Australia it’s the role of the Independent Gambling Authority and in Queensland the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation.
Australia’s Attitude to Gambling
Australians are known for being a liberal bunch, and never is this more true than in the case of gambling. While major English-speaking countries such as America have opted for draconian laws and a prohibition mindset, Aussies have a “live and let live” mindset, or rather “bet and let bet”.
Sure, gambling is licensed, but it’s also lax insofar as what you’re allowed to do.
In addition to boasting a number of land-based casinos, where the roulette tables see regular action, Australia’s pubs and clubs aren’t short of slots and video poker terminals. The term for these, one also used by New Zealanders, is “pokies”. If you’re accused of being fond of pokies by an Australian, don’t take it as an insult.
Sports Betting in Australia
When it comes to sports betting, there are again similarities that can be drawn with New Zealand, not least in regards to the body charged with overseeing the industry. The Totalisator Agency Board, better known as TAB, facilitates and regulates betting in Australia.
The country has over 3,000 TAB-operated betting facilities, where locals can wager on their favourite sports including rugby, horse racing and Australian rules football.
In the case of online sports betting, Australians are free to pretty much do what they want. The 2001 Interactive Gambling Act did enact certain restrictions, but nothing that would impact on the average Australian bettor’s habits; the law was targeted more at companies than individuals.
According to the law, gambling operators are prohibited from advertising their services at Australian citizens, but it doesn’t prohibit Australian gambling firms from doing the same to overseas customers.
The Future of Gambling in Australia
Don’t expect to see any seismic changes in Australia’s attitude to gambling in the foreseeable future; the system works, and the authorities seem content to let the country’s citizens do their thing. Gambling is a part of the fabric of society in Australia, with a storied history, and is today viewed as a comparatively harmless pursuit.
While there will always be individuals who take things too far, the majority of Australian gamblers seem capable of indulging their pastime without engaging in reckless behaviour. Online and on the streets, Australia’s penchant for gambling is in no danger of diminishing.
What does the law say regarding gambling in Australia?
Gambling is permitted, both online and in bricks and mortar premises including bars, clubs, casinos and betting shops.
How old do you have to be to gamble in Australia?
Are gambling winnings subject to taxation?
No, the Australian government does not tax residents who win money online or in gambling premises.
How is gambling regulated in Australia?
Much of the responsibility falls to Australia’s regional territories. The central government’s role is minimal.
What does the law say regarding online gambling?
Australians are free to play roulette and other games at online casinos and sportsbooks, including those based overseas.