Australia is a vast country where betting has always been a popular pastime but it’s also one that has traditionally been heavily regulated. In the pre-internet days, the practise was tolerated but not exactly embraced and the first physical casino didn’t open here until 1973.
With the birth of the internet, the first online sportsbook arrived in 1996 and from this point, anyone in Australia could access a betting site as long as they had a connection. If you are resident in Australia, it is perfectly legal to bet here but it is regulated so here are the important things you need to know.
Options in AUD and Quick Payouts
It’s obviously going to be easier if you can deal in your own currency and many of the Australian focussed bookmakers will provide this option. 10Bet, Bet365 and Luxbet are therefore three of the most commonly used outlets by Australian players as they offer facilities in AUD.
If this is important for you, then this type of bookmaker is a good choice, however, other bookies who are open but not so committed to the Australian markets will allow you to sign up, but you may have to play in USD or another currency.
Banking Options for Australian Players
The bookmakers listed above will all accept the major debit and credit cards and for many of us, this is the most convenient and flexible way of getting online and playing. If you prefer to use an eWallet however, there are options.
The exact list of funding providers will vary depending on which bookmaker you use but typically, Aussie friendly operators will allow you to deposit and withdraw with Poli, Skrill, Neteller, PaySafeCard and EcoPay.
Paypal is accepted in some cases but it isn’t widespread while less common companies such as Trustly may also be listed.
Bet with AUD
Betting with Australian Dollars is preferable for a number of reasons: Firstly, you don’t have to keep calculating exchange rates and there is no risk of any operator raking off some money when they carry out a conversion.
It also helps when you’re looking to calculate odds and, in particular, when you’re studying offers and promotions that the particular bookie provides. We all want to know that we’re getting value for money so playing in AUD will clearly help when we’re assessing the true worth of the following deals.
Bonuses, Free Bets and Other Promotions
You can expect to receive a welcome bonus from most bookmakers when you sign up for a new account. The value of this will vary but it will typically come as a 100% or 50% match on your first deposit.
Free bets are also given in certain circumstances, often when you take a multi bet of 4 selections or more and one of them fails to win. In that scenario, you could expect to get your stake back as a free bet while other promotions could give boosts on profits in certain sporting events.
Acceptable Wagering Requirements
An important point to note with any bookmaker is the rollover. This will typically come into play when you get a bonus or free bet and it means that you have to wager through the amount in question before you can claim any profits.
Wagering requirements vary greatly and you may have to play through 4x, 5x, 10x or possibly more before you get any returns. In certain circumstances such as a free bet return, there may not be a rollover so it’s important that you check all terms and conditions and decided whether any rollover is acceptable to you.
Available in AUD
Rollovers, free bets and bonuses are always much easier to calculate when you can access a bookmaker in your own currency. It’s not vital, but it is advisable that you choose a bookmaker that will transact in Australian Dollars in order to make things that much simpler.
This means that whenever you get a free bet or any type of bonus, you know whether or not this is a generous one and it’s also important whenever there is a rollover requirement in place so that you know exactly what your total outlay will be.
Top 3 Bookmakers for Australian Bettors
10Bet have good longevity in the Australian market and they have been around since 2003. That makes them a trusted brand in the country and they do a lot of things right when it comes to catering for Aussies’ needs.
You can trade here in AUD while the long list of markets includes Aussie Rules Football as well as all the other popular sports including cricket, rugby and soccer. Prices are very good too with competitive odds right across that roster so 10Bet are one of the first places for Australian bettors to sign up.
Founded in the UK in 2000, Bet365 have worked hard to make sure that they comply with strict regulations right across the world. They are fully licensed to operate in Australia and once again, you can deposit, withdraw and play in your account with Australian Dollars.
AFL games are covered here in one of the widest lists of sporting markets you can find and, like 10Bet, Bet365 are also picked up by all the main odds comparison sites so it’s easy to check their prices and find out that you are getting serious value for money.
Unlike the previous companies that we’ve mentioned here, Luxbet are first and foremost an Australian bookmaker and for that reason alone, they are hugely popular right across the country. They were founded in 2008 by Tabcorp Holdings, a respected ASX company and one that set out to fill a gap in the Aussie sports betting market.
Loyalty to a native company isn’t enough to get business on its own but happily their presence is backed up by all the usual requirements – transactions in AUD, competitive prices and a range of sporting markets that appeal to the Australian betting Community.
Popular Sports and Racing in Australia
Aussie rules football is a very unusual sport and one that is very specific to Australia itself. It may be played outside of the country but participation elsewhere is very isolated and they are few official leagues.
In Australia itself, the AFL regulates the sport and the season traditionally runs from Easter through to the start of September. Once that regular season has been completed, the teams enter the play offs and the ultimate prize is the AFL Grand Final which sees the two best sides compete for the trophy at the end of September.
With the extension of cricket schedules across the world, cricket in Australia lasts from Spring through to Autumn. Test cricket is the pinnacle with the Ashes series against England coming around every four years while first class cricket is also seen at State level across the country.
There is interest in all of these events but also with the Big Bash, a T20 tournament that starts just before Christmas and carries on through to the New Year. The Big Bash now attracts the best players from all over the world and betting on the tournament is popular in Australia and beyond.
Both codes of rugby are enjoyed by Australians both from a spectating and a betting point of view. For Rugby League, the NRL is made up of 16 teams and currently includes one side from New Zealand for an added bit of interest.
It all builds up to the Grand Final where the Rabbitohs have been the most successful side so far with 21 titles up to 2017. Rugby Union is arguably less popular but there is huge interest whenever the Wallabies national side plays, either at home or in any other part of the world.
The long horse racing season in Australia culminates in the Melbourne Cup which takes place as part of the Spring Carnival and is traditionally run at the very start of November. There are, however, some great Grade One races such as the Caulfield Cup with other courses including Randwick and Flemington hosting some top class renewals.
Aside from those core sports, Australians love their soccer, tennis, golf and even some snooker or darts where their countrymen have enjoyed some good success in recent years. All of these are busy markets for any of the listed Australian bookmakers.
Is Sports Betting Legal in Australia?
Sports betting is legal in Australia but it is heavily regulated. What is prohibited is advertising any bookmaker services or providing real money betting without a licence. You cannot place an in-play bet in Australia online but you can do this in person at a betting shop or via the telephone.
There are strict penalties handed out by the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 which was brought in because of the rise in internet betting. Penalties are strict for those operators who transgress and those penalties are aimed at the bookmakers rather than individual citizens.
Each state within Australia has its own regulations when it comes to gambling. Much of the countrywide, online betting is picked up by the Interactive Gambling Act while those individual states pick up the rules relating to betting shops and ‘pokies’ within their own territories.
There are eight regulatory authorities who govern the licensing and operation of physical betting on their own patch and the laws here vary greatly. As far as online betting is concerned, this is perfectly legal, as we have discussed but an Australian citizen is strongly advised to only use operators who are licensed to trade here.
Interactive Gambling Act – Which Sports are Legal to Bet on?
The interactive gambling act was introduced in 2001 as a reaction to the rise in internet gambling since the very first sportsbook was set up online in 1996. In the five years that followed, online play had taken off in the country and there was a clear need for regulation.
There are no specifically excluded sports but remember the very specific rule that you cannot bet in play. This is to rule out any impulse gambling which can be seen as a problem area for some members of the betting community.
Australian Gaming Law – What Makes a Bookmaker legal?
Legality for a bookmaker looking to trade in Australia is achieved by obtaining authorization to trade in the country. Essentially, you have to be licensed and that means being approved by the government and being subject to their laws and their taxation rules.
Strictly speaking, you should not, as an Australian citizen, be able to access a site that isn’t registered and most operators should block you from attempting to do so. Any bookmaker falling fall of that rule is subject to very strict penalties so it is in their interests not to even let you try.
Gambling Problem Websites for Aussie Players
If you feel that you have a problem with gambling then there are a number of organisations that you can turn to. The government has their own scheme run by the Department of Social Services and it can be accessed via the website problemgambling.gov.au.
Other independent charities and organisations are also on hand to help and these could include gamblinghelpline.org.au and lifeline.org.au. It’s an area that is taken very seriously in Australia and there are a good set of options for anyone who feels they may have a problem.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Online Sports Betting and Online Horse Racing Legal in Australia
As we have seen, the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 means that it is legal to gamble in Australia online but any operator that trades here must have a licence to do so. If any resident of Australia trades with a company that does not hold a licence here, they may not necessarily be punished but they will have no recourse if they are treated unfairly.
Online horse racing is legal too, subject to the same rules of the interactive gambling act as published in 2001.
Do I Have to Pay Taxes on my Winnings?
Gambling falls into certain categories that mean residents in Australia to not have to pay tax on their winnings. Firstly, this is considered to be a hobby, not a profession and hobbies are not taxed by the government.
Any profits are not considered to be income and merely as a result of good fortune and the government realises that enough losses will balance out those profits. Instead of taxing their residents, Australian governments have passed the taxation on to the operators who pay for getting the licence and being able to trade here.
What Age do I Have to be to Legally Bet Online in Australia?
Across the country, the legal age in which you can place a bet is 18 so if you are younger than this, you will not be able to access any of the online operators who trade here. The very same principle applies in the physical world too so nobody under the age of 18 will be allowed into a bricks and mortar casino and it is forbidden to play on the pokies too in any of the licensed establishments in the whole of Australia.