Top 5 Australian Betting Sites

Monday, 21st August 2017

Like their former rulers in Britain, Aussies love to gamble. In fact, the country of over 22.5 million gamble at a rate higher than any other people in the world. A whopping 80% of all adults bet in some form, either at land-based casinos and poker rooms or online.

Sports betting, both offline and online, is legal and regulated in the country. There are several state-licensed bookmakers that operate online, but there is also a host of unlicensed operators.

Since Australians gamble at such a high rate, the country has had some issues with problem gambling, which has produced a love-hate relationship with the legislature. They love the tax revenue that casinos and sports betting bring, but are wary of the ill effects gambling has had on some citizens.

There many land-based casinos in the country that offer casino gaming, slots, and poker games, such as Texas Hold’em, but only some casino games are licensed for online gambling.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Australia?

In 2001, the government passed the Interactive Gambling Act, which established a framework for licensing online gambling sites and offered a balance between full-scale legalization and prohibition in a country that has serious issues with problem gambling.

Online sports betting was fully legalized, along with lotteries, but poker and casino games were not. Also, while forms of sports betting were sanctioned, it’s an important caveat that live betting, or in-play betting, is not allowed on state-licensed sites. The Interactive Gambling Act states that all wagering must occur prior to the event’s start time, thus eliminating live-betting markets.

Australia’s government-licensed sportsbooks are some of the biggest in the world. They are home to Betfair, Sportingbet, Centrebet, and other top bookmakers. It’s funny to think of this scenario playing out in another country, such as the United States, which is extremely anti-sports betting. The Australians are the only country in the world to liberalize online sports betting markets but to outlaw operators from offering poker and casino games.

While the state only licenses real money sports betting, it’s vital to point out that there is no penalty for an Australian citizen who gambles online in any form, whether it be poker, casino or sports, even if he or she is playing at an unlicensed site. Instead, the illegal operators will be subject to fines or perhaps legal action from the Australian government.

Despite the laws against foreign unlicensed sites offering their services to citizens, Australians can easily gamble at any site of their choosing with little issue. Many online poker rooms and casinos accept Aussies, and so do a host of unlicensed sportsbooks, which offer every type of market, including live-betting options.

While many sites voluntarily left the market, Australia hasn’t gone after those violating the Interactive Gambling Act, like the United States has done with the UIGEA. Most Aussies are fully aware that they are playing at unlicensed sites but can easily deposit and collect their winnings.

Furthermore, many of these sites are well-respected companies in other parts of the world. They also offer bettors another crack at deposit bonuses and the ability to line shop more efficiently because they won’t be limited to just the state-licensed bookies.

Tax-Free Winnings for Australian Punters

Like the United Kingdom and Ireland, gambling winnings are tax-free in Australia, and there is no catch. The government does not view any form of gambling as a skill game, and, therefore, it is not subject to any taxation as earned income.

Most-Wagered Markets

We have established that Aussies have plenty of real money options when it comes to where they want to bet. They have the state-run sites as well as a host of unlicensed bookmakers. Both options, provided a player chooses a reputable bookmaker, are excellent.

The Australian Football League (AFL), home of Aussie Rules Football, is a national obsession. Australians also have a professional soccer league in the A-League. They have leagues for both variations of Rugby, the National Rugby League (Rugby League) and the Australian Rugby Union. Like their British brothers, cricket has a wide following Down Under as well.

Of course, bookmakers don’t stop with domestic leagues. They offer odds on just about every sport on the planet. Yes, some will be focused on Australian sports, but most are licensed internationally in addition.

Cashier Options

Bettors won’t be short on deposit and withdrawal options. Worldwide e-wallets Neteller and Skrill and even PayPal can be used for both deposits and payouts. These methods are instant, along with credit card and debit card deposits. Players also have a domestic payment processor in BPAY. They are the largest payment processor in the country and account for over $21 billion a month in transactions.

Withdrawals are processed quickly and through the above methods, normally in just a few days. There is almost never a fee for withdrawals for citizens residing in Australia. The country is highly competitive for operators, while also quite lucrative. Sites happily eat deposit and withdrawal costs to keep customers happy.

Further Legalization Likely

The government is in a tough situation, with the anti-gambling lobby pushing for restrictions on the expansion of gaming but with no real ability to stop citizens from gambling at unlicensed sites.

In recent years, there have been attempts to redefine and perhaps expand the law when it comes to online gambling, but this hasn’t come to fruition yet. The status quo may also remain the same, which is fine for Australian sports bettors.

Politicians and regulators certainly understand that they can’t stop their citizens from gambling online; it’s only a matter of time before they realize they might as well get their cut of the action.

Top 5 Australian Poker Sites

Thursday, 17th August 2017

Poker has been booming in Australia since 2005 when Joe Hachem became the first Aussie to win the WSOP Main Event, the live circuit has been growing – and more and more Australians have been signing up to play online.

In this guide to Australian poker sites I have looked at the legal position of online poker in Australia and how it impacts you as a player. Next, you’ll find a rundown of the best online poker sites allowing Australian players. I have then covered the Australian deposit methods, allowing you to get your cash online to play. Most online poker sites operate in currencies other than the AUD so I have explained how this will affect you.

Australian Poker Sites – Australian Legislation

An individual in Australia is not breaking any laws playing poker (or any form of gambling) over the internet. When passing the Interactive Gaming Act in 2001, the Australian government restricted what locally based gambling operators could offer, and made it illegal for sites outside of Australia to offer gambling too.

No Aussie operators offer their games to Australian citizens any more, and the limited legal jurisdiction of this country does not affect the offshore sites. With no attempt to enforce these laws ever made, a status-quo has been reached with many international operators willing to accept deposits from Aussie players. Since no individual is breaking the law, the players themselves can feel relaxed about enjoying online poker at the international sites.

With Liberal politicians openly voicing an opposition against online gambling, concerns were high that after the Liberal-National coalition were voted into power in 2013 a crackdown against online poker would occur. This has yet to happen and there appears to be no rush to enforce the law against the offshore poker sites.  If you are at all concerned, my recommendation would be only to play on reputable poker sites and keep the minimum amount of money you need online.

Best Sites For Australian Players

All of the major poker sites are available to Australian players. The Merge Network, which is owned by an Australian based group is the only mid-sized network which does not allow Australians.

My top pick has to be 888 Poker, where you will find none other than Shane Warne as ambassador. This aside, 888 have been growing rapidly recently and are now an established top 4 site with a big focus on recreational gamblers rather than the ‘pro grinders’. They will even give you $8, no-strings attached, to check out the games.

PokerStars are the biggest site worldwide and the most popular among Australian players. This site is linked with Full Tilt too, and you can switch your bankroll between them. The choice of games is simply amazing, with the biggest tournaments online and a mind-blowing selection of cash games to choose from.

Finally, the iPoker Network have their fair share of fans from down-under. This site is made up of sports-betting brands like Bet365 and William Hill. They pool their players on a common back-end to offer a massive choice of poker games and bigger promos. The iPoker network is famously soft, and I recommend you check their tables out for yourself.

Australian Poker Sites & Deposit Options

By far the easiest and quickest way to deposit money online is with a credit or debit card. Depositing with a card is similar to making any other online purchase. Most sites accept Visa, MasterCard, Amex and Diners Club. Declines are rare enough for credit cards, though if your bank does decline, Debit Cards have a very high acceptance rate.

Especially if you intend on moving money between sites, an eWallet such as Neteller, Skrill or Poli make a great deposit option. These are secure intermediaries between your bank and the poker rooms – and let you move fast to take advantage of bonus or promotional offers.  Charges are small, though they vary a lot – my recommendation is Skrill, whose charges are very low.

You can also send funds from money transfer sites such as Western Union, or using good old fashioned bank-wires. Both methods are useful if you wish to deposit large amounts.

Dealing With Multiple Currencies – Converting From AUD

You will find no present online poker site lets you play in AUD, most conduct their games in USD and some in EUR. Some sites might ask which currency you would prefer them to hold your money in when you deposit. However most will simply convert your cash straight to USD at the current rate, and keep it in this currency until you withdraw. You may experience swings in the exchange rate, though these are rarely big enough to be noticed by anyone except for the high-rollers.

Australian Poker Sites – A Wide Choice for a Cautious Player

If you are a poker player in Australia you have a wide range of reputable poker sites to choose from and getting money online is still relatively easy.

Despite periodic calls from politicians to regulate (or ban) online gambling, no one has shown any interest in enforcing the legislation already in place to stop online sites. Playing online is not illegal so you are perfectly safe provided you pick a reputable site.