Law and Jurisprudence
There is not one overarching law in Australia that regulates gambling activities. Instead, gambling is held at the state, territory, federal, and local levels in Australia. Each of Australia’s eight territories and states regulates gambling within their respective jurisdictions. Several federal statutes cover specific aspects of gambling activities throughout Australia.
For example, the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (Cth) regulates online and interactive gambling services. State and territory legislation regulates online and land-based gambling activities. It also sets out the regulatory frameworks and regulations for different types of gambling, including poker machines, sports betting, and lotteries. To the extent that there are inconsistencies, the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 is superior to state and territory legislation.
Below is a list of all the legislation that governs gambling, betting, lotteries, and social/skills for every Australian state and territory, as well as the federal level. The authors point out that this list only includes some gambling-related legislation. Many pieces of legislation are related to gambling activities (e.g., legislation establishing the applicable gambling tax rates). You will also find subordinate legislative instruments.
The state and territory gambling regulators are responsible for granting licenses, monitoring compliance, and enforcing legislation. Below are the Australian regulators accountable for regulating gambling activities in every state and territory.
The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission, Victoria’s independent gambling authority, is responsible for licensing and complying.
Vic’sVic’s Department of Justice and Regulation has a division called the Office of Liquor, Gaming, and Racing. It is responsible for central licensing, policy, regulation, and legislation.
New South Wales (NSW)
Liquor and Gaming New South Wales is part of the NSW Department of Customer Service and has responsibility for compliance, licensing, and policy. Separately, the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority is an independent statutory decision-maker responsible for various casino, liquor, and registered club regulatory functions.L&GNSW can delegate some of the routine licensing procedures of the ILGA.
The Queensland Office of Liquor and Gaming Ordinance is responsible for licensing and compliance. The Office of Regulatory Policy is responsible for policy and legislative development for regulating liquor, gaming, and fair trading and harm minimization programs for the gambling and liquor industries.COLOR is part of the state’sstate’s Department of Justice. QORP is part of the Attorney-General.
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
The Gambling and Racing Commission is part of the Portfolio of the Minister for Regulatory Services, and it is the ACT’sACT’s independent gambling authority responsible for licensing, compliance and education.
South Australia (SA)
Consumer and Business Services is part of the Attorney-General’s Department and oversees policy, licensing, and compliance related to gambling, casinos, gaming machines, and lotteries.
The Auditor General’sGeneral’s Department houses the Lotteries Commission of South Australia. It has the primary responsibility of promoting and running lotteries in South Australia. To manage the brands and products of the Commission, it has appointed master agents.
The Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission is within the Department of Treasury and Finance and Tas’Tas’ independent gambling authority responsible for licensing and complying.
Western Australia (WA)
The portfolio of the Minister of Racing and Gaming includes the Western Australian Department of Racing, Gaming, and Liquor. It is responsible for the compliance, policy, licensing, and licensing matters.
Northern Territory (NT)
Compliance matters are primarily the responsibility of the NTRC.
Licensing NT handles licensing matters about all gambling activities within the NT.
The NT Department of Justice and Attorney-General houses the NTRC and Licensing NT.
It is important to note that most states and territories have local government bodies regulating gambling. However, this regulation is usually limited to gaming machines and their operation within their respective municipal districts.
The Australian Constitution gives the federal government the power to regulate and manage telecommunications, money, and trade between the states and territories.
These powers have allowed the federal government to pass legislation that regulates interactive gambling, anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism funding (AML/CTF), and consumer and competition protections (also known in other jurisdictions as antitrust matters).
Below are brief descriptions of the regulatory bodies that regulate gambling.
The ACMA is responsible for media and communication regulation in Australia. This includes monitoring and enforcing the rule of online gambling and over-the-phone (as interactive gambling laws).
The ACMA enforces and monitors compliance with Interactive Gambling laws.
The federal laws governing interactive gambling in Australia prohibit certain activities, such as:
Online casinos, poker, and slot machines;
Online wagering sites that allow you to place ”in-play” bets on live sporting events
Online wagering services that are not licensed by any Australian territory or state;
Online instant lotteries
Certain interactive wagering service providers may provide credit to customers or facilitate the provision of credit.
The ACMA can initiate civil proceedings in Australia, notify border protection agencies about the names of directors or principals of illegal offshore operators, which could disrupt any travel to Australia, and place them on a ”movement alert list.” It also can communicate with foreign regulators to bring justice to the alleged offenders.
Regulation of AML/CTF
The Australian Transaction Announcements and Analysis Centre is responsible for deterring and disrupting financial crimes, including money laundering and terrorist financing.
The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 classifies certain gambling activities as ”designated service”. Providers of these services are called reporting entities’entities’ and must register with AUSTRAC and develop and maintain an AML/CTF program. They must also report certain transactions to AUSTRAC via threshold transaction reports (TTRs) and suspicious matter reports.
Failure to concede with the AML/CTF Act can lead to significant civil penalties or criminal exposure. A sizeable Australian gambling company was fined A$45,000,000 for not complying with the AML/CTF Act requirements.
Under the Match and Consumer Act 2010(Cth) (CCA), the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission is responsible for, among other things, the enforcement of Australian consumer protection laws. The ACCC monitors the compliance of gambling service providers with their obligations under the CCA. This includes gambling advertising. It can also take appropriate enforcement actions if necessary.
Remote or land-based gambling
There is not one single law that regulates gambling in Australia. Instead, gambling in Australia can be held at the federal, state, and territory levels. Each of Australia’s eight territories and states regulates online and brick-and-mortar gambling. Each state and territory, for example, has its own Casino Control Act or similar legislation under which land-based casino licenses are issued. In addition, online operations are generally permitted by state and territory legislation.
Moreover, federal statutes cover some aspects of gambling activities, such as personal information protection and obligations around anti-money laundering or counter-terrorism financing.
The federal government has passed the IGA about online gaming. The IGA bans online gambling providers from overseas who don’tdon’t have a license in the relevant territory or state. Online gambling, such as poker, bingo, and casinos, is also prohibited by the IGA.
Predominantly, land-based gambling regulation is made through state or territory legislation. There are peculiarities to this rule, like the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2001(Cth) (AML/CTF Act), which applies federally to land-based operators. The various licenses available under the laws of each state or territory can help you understand land-based gambling.