Online sports betting is allowed in Australia, and many online sportsbooks have been licensed to provide the service. The licensing laws vary from state to state, and it is up to the punters and the operators to follow them. However, two prevailing rules apply to all states: That all gamblers must be aged 18 years and above to gamble and that the gambling operator must obtain sensible proof of identity from the customer.
The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001
In June 2001, the federal government of Australia passed the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA). The law indicates that it is an offence for advertise or offer real money online betting services that are interactive such as casinos or poker to Australian residents. This law affects all online operators, even those licensed and owned in Australia. The IGA law has a loophole in that only the operator must adhere to it and not the residents. An Aussie cannot be punished for taking part in online gambling.
The IGA does not prohibit all forms of gambling. Sports betting is legal and should is to be offered by licensed operators. The law also states that betting should take place before the event starts and not when taking place. What this means is that all forms of live in-play betting are prohibited as it is seen as being interactive. Another category of legal betting is an online lottery with the exception of instant-win games.
For many years, several Australian bookmakers have been fighting against the ban of in-play betting. Most of these agencies have been advocating for a change in the law regarding live online betting. However, we see many offshore sites offering live betting to Australian residents. This could either mean that they are ignoring the IGA or are entirely unaware of its existence.