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Australia online sports betting laws

Australia absolutely adores sport, and the performances of its national teams are central to Australia’s sense of self-identity. It’s not uncommon for over 10 per cent of the country’s 25 million population to tune into an NRL match, and many of them enjoy the thrill of wagering on it too.

Is sports betting legal in Australia?

Sports betting is absolutely legal in Australia. There are several restrictions, however, which you should be aware of before engaging with online sports betting sites in Australia.

Principal among these is the fact that in-play online betting is not allowed in the country, unlike most other nations where sports betting is popular.

The first complication around the legality of sports betting in Australia is that there is no single piece of legislation governing gambling activities in the country. Instead, gambling is regulated at both state and federal level, with each state regulating gambling separately within its territory.

When it comes to online sports betting, Australia’s most relevant piece of legislation is the Interactive Gambling Act, passed in 2001 when the digital space was relatively new. This made it illegal to offer online gambling services in Australia – but one exception under the act is online sports betting. Bettors can therefore wager freely as a result.

Australia-based betting companies are allowed to run markets on sports, and any company that operates retail shops can also accept online sports bets. Most Australian sportsbooks, therefore, have an online arm. Many of the biggest international names in the bookmaking world are also licensed to operate in Australia.

The biggest restriction to be aware of, however, is over in-play betting. Such wagering is illegal over the internet in Australia, although you can bet while an event is on over the phone or in person in a betting shop.

Responsible gambling is a serious issue in Australia. Despite the massive appetite for sport and betting, there has been significant social pressure on the gambling industry to ensure best practice. For many years, the only steps in this direction were in the form of self-certified codes of practice, which were not always effective in tackling problem gambling. More recently, some state governments have set up foundations specifically to address the issues caused and to promote responsible gambling.

So, while sports betting is legal and is carried out by some of the most respected names in the world of bookmaking, it’s worth being aware of the restrictions that apply when using online betting sites in Australia.

What odds format is used in Australia?

Decimal odds

Australian online betting sites display odds in a decimal format. This is used in many parts of the world, including New Zealand and much of Europe.

This is a contrast with American and fractional odds, the other two ways in which odds are expressed, elsewhere in the world.

Take the example of a bet on Western Australia to win the next Sheffield Shield. At an Australian betting site, the odds would be presented as 6.0. This means that for every $100 you stake, you win $600 if your selection is correct.

In nations such as the United Kingdom that use fractional odds, the same bet would be expressed as 5/1. You win $500 for every $100 staked, plus your stake is returned.

Similarly, with American odds your bet would be shown as +500. Every $100 bet wins you $500, and you get your stake back.

Top sports in Australia

Rugby League

New South Wales and Queensland are the hotbeds of rugby league in Australia, although there are also sides from Victoria and even New Zealand in the 16-team National Rugby League (NRL). This is beyond question the world’s highest standard in the sport, and as a nation, Australia has won the Rugby League World Cup eight times in the last nine tournaments, stretching back to 1975.

NRL matches are fiercely competitive, as is the annual State of Origin series between players from New South Wales and Queensland. This bucket-list, three-match showdown is one of the highlights of the Australian betting year, reinforcing the sport’s popularity at Australian online betting sites.

Australia betting FAQs

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