Report No. 276
6.33 Both the Federal and State Governments in Australia are involved in nearly every aspect of gambling ranging from acting as suppliers, tax collectors, police, funding and organising of help services for gamblers experiencing problems, regulators and have put into place a host of laws and regulations in terms of who can gamble, where, when and what they can gamble on etc. The Federal Government determines national laws on internet gambling. State and Territory Governments oversee most aspects of gambling, while Local Governments have to deal with planning164.
6.34 The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 (IGA) protected the residents from the harmful effects of online gambling. Under the Act it was illegal to provide some interactive gambling activities, such as 'online casinos', to someone physically present in Australia. Examples include roulette, poker, craps, online 'pokies' and blackjack. Some activities were however excluded from the list and are subject to licences, an absence of licence under the Act would amount to an offence. Further, section 7A prohibited advertisements of interactive gambling on websites designed for the Australian audience.
6.35 The Interactive Gambling Act was amended in 2017 in response to the 2015 Review of the Impact of Illegal Offshore Wagering.
6.36 The 2017 Amendment Act sought to inter alia prohibit interactive gambling services ('illegal services') and regulate interactive gambling services (most of the current excluded services).Prohibit 'click to call' in-play betting services by tightening the definition of a 'telephone betting service' (a regulated interactive gambling service) to require dealings with customers to be wholly by way of spoken conversations between individuals; amend the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005 (the ACMA Act) to enable the ACMA to notify international regulators of information relating to prohibited or regulated interactive gambling services (including the names of operators); and simplify and streamline the complaints handling and investigation process to remove mandatory requirements to refer matters to the police and enable the ACMA to handle the entire process from receipt of complaints to enforcement, similar to its complaints handling and enforcement role in relation to other legislation.
6.37 Sports betting, horse-racing and greyhound-racing are exceptions to the prohibition and can be offered by licenced authorities or operators.
6.38 "The Interactive Gambling Amendment (Lottery Betting) Bill 2018" aims at prohibiting betting on the outcome, or a contingency that may or may not happen in the course of the conduct, of a lottery (including a keno draw) is still pending in the Parliament.
6.39 In 2014-15, the government revenue from total gaming activities combined amounted to $5,507.829 million, while the government revenue from sports-betting activities amounted to $36.452 million. The government revenue from total gambling activities was reported to be $5,760.217 million165.