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.
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.
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.
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.
Australian Rules football epitomizes Aussie sport at its best – fast-moving, bruising and ultra-competitive. Played on ovals and cricket grounds in front of enormous crowds, the top level of the sport is the Australian Football League (AFL). More than half the 18 teams in the AFL are from Victoria, the state where the sport originated, but four of the other five states are represented too.
Although the sport is uniquely Australian, expats have brought the sport to other nations and matches have been played across the world. Wagering on Aussie Rules outstrips the volumes on any other sport at Australian betting sites.
Australia is one of the powerhouses of rugby union. The Wallabies (the nickname for the national team) have won the World Cup twice and are always competitive in top international competitions.
Domestic rugby union is popular across the country, though its strongholds are New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. Five teams from five different states represent Australia in Super Rugby, where they face the best club sides in the southern hemisphere.
As a result, rugby union is one of the most popular sports for online betting in Australia. As well as domestic action, bettors enjoy wagering on the best of the northern hemisphere competitions too.
As the country’s national summer sport, enormous numbers of Australians play and watch cricket in every corner of the country.
The sport goes back in Australia more than 200 years, with the first match played not long after the first English colonists arrived. With a healthy club, domestic and international scene, the national side is a source of huge pride.
The Test team is always hard to beat, while the one-day side has won the World Cup a record five times. It should come as no surprise that millions get involved with cricket at online betting sites in Australia.
Soccer’s popularity in Australia has grown steadily over recent decades. The A-League, the professional competition established in 2004, has given the sport a new profile and fans of the game enjoy getting involved with football at online sports betting sites in Australia.
So have the exploits of individual players who have shone in elite leagues, while the national team is now a regular at the FIFA World Cup finals, appearing in every tournament since 2006.
As well as betting on the top domestic action, there are significant followings for the top English teams and other sides in the major European leagues.
Yes, you can. In regard to online betting, Australia has applied law making it legal across the country, and there are Australian online betting sites to choose from. But you should be aware of the restrictions that apply to online betting in Australia, such as the fact that you cannot bet in-play using the internet.
Yes, under the terms of the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act, online sports betting in Australia is specifically not prohibited in the country. It is, however, always worth checking with your chosen sportsbook – whether it is based in Australia or offshore – that it is licensed to offer online sports betting.
There is a wide choice of online betting sites in Australia. It is advisable to use a well-respected and trusted sportsbook that is licensed to operate in the country. You should select one that offers a wide range of markets on a variety of sports and that makes the process of placing a wager straightforward.
Yes, you can use your mobile to access Australian online betting sites. Sportsbooks have significantly upgraded their digital presence in recent years and many have developed excellent apps. Please remember, though, that online in-play sports betting is specifically prohibited under the law in Australia.
Online sports betting sites in Australia offer a variety of special promotions and bonuses for new and existing customers. It’s all part of the fierce competition to encourage players to stay loyal to a particular sportsbook. Bonuses include free bets, enhanced prices and offers on multiple wagers.