Australian Senate Votes to Close Gambling Loopholes

This story was published more than 3 years ago.

This week the Australian Senate voted to close the various loopholes in the 2001 online gambling prohibition laws by passing the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill of 2016.

The bill will close in-play betting "click to call" workarounds and online poker loopholes that will tighten the federal government's laws on internet betting. The new rules in place have drawn criticism from some, who claim that punters will find a way to continue playing the games they want to.

Speaking in opposition to the bill Senator David Leyonhjelm said, "The original 2001 law was meant to stop online gambling of many kinds, but it didn't, there was a loophole. There is quite an active online poker community in Australia. I don't think it [the amended legislation] will succeed for those really determined. If you have a virtual private network or offshore account, you will still play. It's a stupid situation to be in."

"It will promote the black market. There are ways to circumvent these prohibition approaches. People will gamble using foreign providers by various means. They will be in the hands of sometimes shady providers, and if they get ripped off, they will have no recourse."

The tightening of Australia's betting laws have seen several larger and more reputable sites pulling out of the market, leading to smaller groups filling the cracks. While these sites aren't all necessarily bad, they certainly aren't as stable and have a higher chance of going rogue or implementing predatory terms and conditions on players.

The irony is that in a legal sense the changes mean almost nothing for punters. While it is illegal under Australian law for an online casino to allow Australians to play (and always has been since 2001), it was a deliberate decision to not criminalise playing. So if an offshore casino (i.e. all of them) is willing to accept Australian players, punters are free to play without repercussions.

The bill is not law yet, and Casino Listings will be keeping an eye on the story in order to provide updates as they occur.

About the author

Jeremy Wilson // Senior Editor
Jeremy Wilson
Jeremy has senior editorial responsibilities across all areas of the site. He lives in Sydney, Australia and has been working with Casino Listings in various roles since its inception in 2007. His go-to game is Blackjack.
1 reply • Last post


CL-Ed's picture
Location: Sydney
Joined: 7 Sep 2007
Posts: 9477
Thanks given: 5457
Thanks received: 4791
21 March 2017 - 11:56pm

Really these amendments are aimed at scaring operators into stopping accepting Australian players. The law is powerless against anyone running an offshore casino for example, unless they decided to visit the country for a holiday.

I'm genuinely puzzled as to why so many operators are starting to block Aussies because they have been knowingly breaking the law for the past 16 years while accepting them anyway.

Always play it safe! Consult our list of rogue casinos and warnings before depositing at a new casino.
Post in our forums to earn CLchips which can be used to buy real prizes in our CLchips shop.