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Laws & Regulations on Gambling in Australia

What is the legal definition of gambling in Australia?

It’s difficult to provide an all-encompassing legal definition of gambling in Australia; generally, however, it is defined as an activity that involves staking money or something of real-world value on the outcome of an event that is decided in full or in part by chance – such as a sporting event or a horse race – with the intent of winning a prize of money or something else of value.

One example of a legal definition of gambling in Australia is in Section 4 of the Commonwealth’s Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA), which was enacted in response to the rise in internet gambling.

A gambling service is defined in the IGA to include, among other things:

  1. a service for the placing, making, receiving or acceptance of bet;
  2. a service for the conduct of a lottery; and
  3. a service for the conduct of a game, where:
    1. the game is played for money or anything else of value;
    2. the game is a game of chance or of mixed chance and skill; and
    3. a customer of the service gives or agrees to give consideration to play or enter the game.

The Laws Regulating Gambling in Australia

The main reason there is no one legal definition of gambling in Australia is that regulation occurs at a state and territory level in addition to the Commonwealth. This means that gambling laws vary across the country and are overseen by different authorities, including within some states themselves.

As experts in the different laws and bodies regulating gambling in Australia, Senet can provide up to date advice on best-practice compliance and accreditation for gambling operators in Australia. We also offer training in compliance through our Senet Compliance Academy, supported by gambling industry experts and our specialist legal team. Learn more here.

Gambling Authorities by State and Territory

ACT: The Gambling and Racing Commission is the ACT’s independent gambling authority.
NSW: Liquor and Gaming NSW is responsible for policy, licensing and compliance; the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority is a statutory decision maker responsible for regulating casinos, liquor, regulated clubs and gaming machines.
VIC: The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation is an independent statutory authority that regulates the gambling and liquor industries in the state; the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing sits within the Department of Justice and advises on gambling policy and regulates gambling licensing.
TAS: The Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission is an independent body responsible for the regulation of gaming in the state.
SA: Consumer and Business Services is responsible for licensing and compliance in betting, gaming machines, casinos and lotteries; The Lotteries Commission of SA is statutorily empowered to promote and conduct lotteries for and on behalf of the state.
WA: The Western Australian Department of Local Government, Sport & Cultural Industries regulates compliance and licensing of racing, gaming and liquor within the state and provides support to the Gaming and Wagering Commission of Western Australia.
NT: The Northern Territory Racing Commission is responsible for racing and betting; Licensing NT is responsible for licensing of gambling, gaming machines and lotteries.

Feeling overwhelmed? As leading specialists in Australian, Senet will ensure your organisation is set up for success and complies with all relevant laws and regulations in Australia. Get in touch with us today.