Living in Western Australia is no barrier to gambling online. Despite national level laws that were brought in to regulate gambling providers, players right across Australia can gamble in any way they choose online, with access to the same level of service as players from other countries and jurisdictions.
While domestic laws prevent Australian-based casinos from offering some types of gambling services online or on mobile, there are no barriers for sites based and regulated elsewhere in the world. So long as you’ve got an Internet connection, you are able to reach out to these casinos and gamble legitimately and legally, whatever your game of choice.
The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 saw some concern that Australian players might be affected, leading to a reduction in the types of gambling services open to them compared to those available in other countries worldwide. In reality, the Act has introduced no such limitations, and Aussies are pretty much free to gamble however they please.
Gambling Laws in Western Australia
The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 was introduced by the then-government, creating a legal structure that would regulate Australian casinos and online gambling services. The idea was to prevent casinos offering what the government felt were higher risk gambling products – essentially interactive gambling, where the odds shifted depending on outcomes, or depending on the actions of the player. This translates into Australian-based gambling sites being unable to offer in-play odds online, and prohibited from offering a range of casino games.
There was never any intention to prevent Australians from gambling online, and this remains the stated position of the Australian authorities. In fact, there are plenty of worldwide casinos and online betting sites specifically reaching out to Australian players, with incentives and bonuses designed to attract and retain your business. The end result is that you are free both now and in future to gamble online or on mobile, wherever in Australia you live.
Sports betting gets a pass, and there are still some Australian-based bookmakers making waves online. The only difference between Australian based sports books and internationally based sites is in-play betting and live odds – with Australian based platforms, all betting online has to stop before the event starts.They can offer this service via phone betting or via retail services such as TABs. The Australian Government has promised to legislate against ‘Click To Call’ betting, which several bookmakers had promoted as an alternative. As a result, most providers have withdrawn this service.
This is quite limiting for players who are used to the flexibility of in-play betting, and many choose to play with other sites instead.
This is entirely legal, and there are no laws specifying where you have to bet. You’re free to choose to go with an in-play provider if you want – by definition, they won’t be based in Australia, but they will be regulated elsewhere in the world and more than likely reaching out to Australian gamblers like you with free bets, bonuses and incentives.
Australian gambling sites can’t offer casino games, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play them. In fact, it couldn’t be simpler to get access to all your favourite casino games. Any casino site accepting Australian players is within limits, so there’s really no restriction in place at all when it comes to gambling with an online casino.
You should have no hesitation about playing with any of the major international casino sites, particularly if you find free spins and bonus offers in Australian dollars – a sure-fire sign that a casino wants you to play with them, and that it will be entirely legal for you to do so.
Pokies – or slots as they’re also known – give players the chance to win big money on a spin of the reels. Because pokies are interactive (requiring you to press each spin), Australian casinos can’t offer these games online. But European, American, Asian and other international casinos can offer these games online and on mobile without restriction, and Australian players are still free to have a go.
Whatever your favourite slots game, it’s entirely up to you whether you want to gamble – the law takes no say in it, and players are absolutely free to play and win on their own free will. This means Aussies can be among the massive progressive jackpot winners you always hear about – there are no limitations to eligibility for Australian citizens.
Much more skill based than many casino and gambling games, poker is still treated as a gambling activity. Again, the 2001 Act ties the hands of Australian gambling companies, who aren’t allowed to offer poker online. But players can carry on regardless, and the global poker sites actively market to Australian players to provide a safe, legitimate venue for their online poker play.
Do not be deterred by the Interactive Gambling Act – it’s only there to limit what Australian casinos can provide, not how Australian players choose to gamble.
The Verdict – Gamble As You Please
Despite the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, players across Western Australia and beyond are free to get out there and gamble online or on their mobiles. There are no restrictions in place for individual players, so providing you are playing with a betting site that offers accounts to Australian players, it’s impossible to get it wrong.
Government attempts to regulate casino providers are of little consequence to ordinary players, so don’t worry about falling foul of the law – it’s simply not going to happen.