Gambling License Australia
Gambling Laws Australia
Australia has been enjoying legalized gambling since its first casino, The Wrest Point Hotel Casino, opened in February 1973. Since then it’s become a well-known fact that Australians are among the world’s biggest gamblers with roughly 80% of Australia’s residents engaged in gaming activities of some kind. There is at least one casino in each region offering a wide range of gambling products. Overall, Australia enjoys an active and legal gambling system which is quite liberal.
Gambling and Licensing
There is no single gambling authority which regulates gambling throughout the whole of Australia. Instead, each of the eight mainland States and Territories individually regulate gambling activities within their respective jurisdictions. There is also a series of Federal statutes which cover aspects of gambling activity throughout Australia.
Each State and Territory has a relevant Casino Control Act (or similar legislation) under which casino licences have been issued. Throughout Australia, the ACMA is the body responsible for media and communications regulatio, including monitoring and enforcing the regulation of gambling online and over the telephone.
Below is a list of the organisations which regulate gambling in each area:
- Australian Capital Territory – ACT Gambling and Racing Commission
- New South Wales – Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing
- Northern Territory – Licensing Commission
- Queensland – Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation
- South Australia – Independent Gambling Authority
- Tasmania – Tasmanian Gaming Commission
- Victoria – Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation
- Western Australia – Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor
On the other hand, online gambling in Australia is handled by the Commonwealth. The Interactive Gambling Act was passed in 2001 and made it illegal to offer games such as poker and online casino games to Australian players. With this being said, Australian-based companies are allowed to offer these online games to players outside of Australia.
The only form of online gambling which is completely legal is betting on auto racing, sports betting, and online lotteries. However even sports and auto racing betting may only take place before the game and not during the actual event.
The following licences generally apply:
Operator licences are required for casinos, retail wagering, lotteries, keno, and instant lotteries.
A bookmakers licence is required for sports and racing bookmaking and typically includes fantasy sports betting.
A gaming venue licence and a permit/license for each gaming machine is required in order to operate gaming machines within Australia. The number of gaming machines in each state and territory is strictly regulated and the number of machines one venue is allowed to operate is limited based on the type of licence. For more information visit https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/business-and-trade/gambling/gaming-licences/gaming-machine-licence
Poker which takes place outside of a casino is permitted, provided that no person gains a percentage or share of the amounts wagered.
Bingo laws and licences differ between states and territories.
Maintaining Your Licence
Operator licences are typically long-dated but the duration of a major operator licence depends on the legislation within each state and territory. Gaming machine licences generally don’t expire except in Victoria where they are valid for 10 years. Casinos must go through a periodic licence review, generally every five years. Overall, fees and licence renewal really depends on the state or territory.
Whilst revoking and suspension of licences is generally quite low, all gambling related licences carry strict requirements relating to responsible gaming, including very strict advertising laws. For example, a large Australian gambling company had to pay a civil penalty of AUS $45 million to Austrac for admitted breaches of the AML/CTF Act. Failure to comply with Austrac can result in civil penalties and possible criminal exposure.
In order to make sure your gambling business complies, you’ll need to have certain systems and controls in place:
Proper record keeping
Providing Austrac with information about financial transactions
Reporting any suspicious customers or activities
Assessment of money laundering and terrorism financing risks
Having a AML/CTF program in place
Australia is working on tighter regulations in relevant gambling and related laws, including unlawful gambling events.
The main body involved in investigating prohibited gambling activity is the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). They manage a formal complaints process where you can report any suspicious activity or complaints via their online complaint form. Many of the individual state and territory authorities also offer online forms.
The money laundering and terrorism financing regulator in Australia is Austrac. Austrac is an Australian Government agency which forms part of the Home Affairs portfolio and reports to the Minister of Home Affairs. All suspicions of money laundering and/or terrorist financing must be directed to Austrac. Money laundering and terrorism financing can result in civil penalties and possible criminal exposure.
All companies are subject to a federal tax rate of 30% on their taxable income. This excludes small businesses which are subject to a rate of 27.5%.
Gambling taxes in Australia depend on the relevant licence, product and state/territory. Casino taxation is determined on a case-by-case basis. At the Australian Government level, the gambling tax is payable at a rate of one eleventh on the player loss of a gambling business – this applies across all forms of gambling. However, the four main types of gambling (wagering, gaming machines, casinos, and lotteries) are taxed differently by each state/territory government.
Casinos, wagering and gaming machines are taxed based on player loss (a measure of revenue) at a rate of 20% – 35%. Lotteries however are taxed far more heavily than any of the other forms of gambling, with tax rates on player loss ranging from 45% – 90%.
Winnings are not taxed in Australia as they are not seen as a form of income.
Australian licensed online casinos
Online casinos are banned in Australia and for this reason, no legal list of casinos exist.
Australian licensed land based casinos
Mindil Beach Casino and Resort: Darwin
Lasseters Hotel Casino: Alice Springs
For more information:
As gambling is regulated by state and territory, you can review the links under the “Gambling and Licencing” heading.
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FURTHER INFORMATION ON CURACAO GAMBLING LICENSES
We wrote an article on Curacao Gambling License which may be of interest to you should you be looking for alternative casino licensing information.