Playing by the Rules: How legislation shapes your online casino experience

Playing by the Rules: How legislation shapes your online casino experience

Little has changed in recent years regarding online casino gambling laws in Australia. The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 makes it illegal for companies to offer online gambling products in Australia unless they are licensed. The only licenses given to Australian companies are for sports betting, so there are no legal online casinos operating in Australia.

However, offshore online casino gambling is still a legal grey area. The act of playing at offshore online casinos is not criminalized, so players can still access a wide variety of offshore online casinos. Today, we will look at what to look for in Australian online casinos and how to access real money pokies and casino games.

What to Look for in Online Casinos

When we state that online casino gambling is a legal grey area, we mean that the Interactive Gambling Act prohibits online casino gambling across the board. However, the government does not prosecute offshore casinos or players. This leads to many casinos still being available to players. Knowing this, you need to take precautions when playing at online casinos. Here are some things to look for.

Licensing – If you don’t research anything else when playing at a casino, check if it is licensed. Licensed online casinos follow rules and regulations similar to what you would see at state or government-regulated casinos. If you cannot find licensing information or the casino claims to be “self-regulated,” do not play there.

Established Casinos – First, you want to play at casinos with a track record. New casinos pop up every year, and you have no idea if they will prove legitimate or if they are scams. We recommend playing at casinos that are at least five years old or older, meaning those established in 2019 or earlier. The older the casino, the more likely it is legitimate.

Check Out the Gaming – Look at the casino game library and see if they offer games from established providers. Some companies you’re looking for include BetSoft, NetEnt, BGaming, Pragmatic Play, Wazdan, and others. Most major software providers are licensed in multiple jurisdictions, which means they offer legitimate and fair gaming.


How to Play Pokies in Australia

The best way to access online pokies in Australia is to directly access online casinos from your desktop, laptop, or mobile device. Point your browser to the website, sign up for a casino account, and make your deposit to start playing real money pokies.

Some sites mention that you should play at online casinos using a VPN, such as ExpressVPN, Windscribe, or NordVPN. These programs make it appear that you’re outside of Australia. Some Australian politicians have even recommended that you play at online casinos using a VPN. I will stray from the pack and tell you to NOT do this, and here is why.

First, many Australian online casinos have clauses explicitly stating that your account will be banned and your funds confiscated if you’re detected using a VPN. Check the restricted countries’ list of any casino you wish to play at. If it lists Australia as a restricted country, do not play there with a VPN, as you’ll lose your money.

Next, all legitimate online casinos now require Know Your Customer (KYC) verification before you can cash out. You will have to prove where you live, and if you show you live in Australia and your VPN is set for another country, you risk having your account banned. While VPNs are great tools for getting around geo-restrictions, online gambling is not a good use of the tool as it may result in you losing your deposits.

Also, do your research about online casinos in Australia. Many sites, including this one, have news and reviews about new and established online casinos. Look for sites that thoroughly and honestly evaluate casinos and pokies, helping you find the best games.


Stay Informed About Gaming Laws and Options

Parliament addresses Gambling issues annually, and online gambling laws are discussed annually. If you want to stay informed about potential upcoming laws or debates, we recommend that you stay informed about the latest gambling news. News sites like 9News, The Guardian, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) always keep Aussies informed about current developments and debates.

Next, consider following sites like this one that regularly keep you updated about the latest online casinos and changes in the industry. Often, secondary or specialized sites give you the most in-depth coverage of the changes in Australian online gambling policy.

I wish I could tell you for certainty that online casino gambling will become legal in the near future, but Parliament seems to want to lag behind the rest of the world. At some point, we believe lawmakers will come around and regulate online casino gaming, so we urge you to stay informed so you’re aware of any breaking developments.



Henry Walker

Henry Walker

Head of Casinos

Since 2017, Henry has brought his professional insight and passion for casino games to the world of Australian Internet Pokies. He’s our resident fact checker who goes through online casinos with a fine-tooth comb, searching for the best casinos, pokies and promotions.

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