Are Pokies Legal in Australia? | 2022 Guide
Are Pokies Legal in Australia?
Australia is not one of those countries where you find many casinos and it’s true for both online and offline ventures. But it doesn’t mean Aussies don’t like to play pokies. In 2018, Australians spent over 20.11 billion on gambling! The number is increasing as you’re reading this post.
So, what’s stopping people to enjoy pokies on the regular? We’re going to search for the answer to this question in this post. Luckily, we can clarify all of your confusion regarding the acceptance of pokies once and for all.
We’re simply going to look into whether pokies are legal in Australia or not. Because the law is the only thing that prohibits people from participating in gambling activities.
The Interactive Gambling Act
The Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) is the backbone of gambling legislation in Australia. There have been a few renditions of this act. We’re going to go through them to understand how the gambling laws have evolved over the years and what is the current state of pokie machines in the country.
The first version of the gambling act made it completely illegal to market and provide gambling services of any kind. Online casinos, overseas sports betting sites, and lottery were all banished from the country. It included:
- Providing banned interactive gambling services to the Australian audience
- Providing unlicensed interactive gambling services to Australian customers
- Providing gambling services to Australian customers from an operator based in Australia
Over the next few renditions, the act has changed quite a bit. Along with strengthening the security of the gamblers, the government has eased the laws on overseas operators. Also, the laws are now handled by individual territories rather than the Commonwealth government.
When compared to other jurisdictions around the world, the Australian regulation comes short in various aspects. Most importantly, the regulations are not clearly stated. At least not to the point where an average player can understand what they’re supposed to do.
The interesting fact is, many operators are already offering top-notch online pokies to the Australian audience for many years now. Thanks to the Aussie’s love for pokies, most casinos offer a huge library of slot games, table games, and even live dealer games.
The only catch is that all of these casinos are based outside of Australia. The Federal Government still doesn’t allow iGaming companies to operate from within the country.
The scenario, however, is not the same with physical casinos. They might be scarce, but you’ll find quite a few staggering brick-and-mortar casinos across Australia. And where there is a casino, there are pokie machines. Let’s see what the law has to say about them.
The Law for Physical Casinos
As we’ve said earlier, the gambling laws are implemented by local territorial governments. All of the territories have one thing in common. No operators are allowed to offer gambling services to native players over the internet.
The physical casino laws, however, vary from state to state. Reef Casino in Pullman Hotel, The Star Casino in Sydney, Wrest Point in Tasmania, and Casino Canberra in Canberra shows that gambling is not a punishable offense in Australia. It’s just that not all states are allowed to host casino establishments.
Physical casinos usually utilize two types of pokies. The mechanical ones and the digital ones. If the casino has an online counterpart, it might very well offer virtual slots. But you won’t be able to play them. We’ve already explained how local brands cannot offer gambling services to the native audience.
Mechanical pokies are open for everyone as long as you’re of legal gambling age. In Australia, it’s 18. Mechanical slots have mechanical reels inside them as the name suggests. As you pull the lever or press the button, the mechanical reels rotate and generate a random combination of the symbols.
Digital slots, on the other hand, are often confused with virtual slots. Digital slots still have a physical appearance and they might look identical to mechanical slots. The difference is that instead of mechanical reels, the results are generated with a computer microchip.
The microchip is known as RNG (Random Number Generator). All legal online and offline casinos are legally bound by law to have RNG for the game results.
The bottom line is, if you’re in the capital city of Australia and you want to have a good time, you can simply walk into Casino Canberra. Pokies are legal in Australia as long as you’re playing them at government-mandated venues.
Online Pokies and Australian Law
Modern gambling law in Australia only targets the local and overseas operators for regulation. For example, only offshore operators can offer casino and sports betting services in the country. Thankfully, no regulation prohibits the players from enjoying online pokies from sites like Partypokies.
Just make sure that you’re playing at a licensed online casino and they are allowed to offer their services in Australia. It’s particularly important for you to verify because there have been reports of unlicensed operators scamming the young gamblers of Australia.
Finding legal online pokies to enjoy in Australia is not an impossible task. It’s quite the opposite, actually. Our recommendation is to only play at the casinos we recommend. We review online casinos for the Australian audience with help from our in-house experts.
We evaluate a casino’s bonus features, security, payment options, and licenses. Only when we’re satisfied with the results, we offer them to you.
So, you can rest assured that all of the pokies you play through our platform are completely legal and fair.
If you’ve been wondering whether pokies are legal in Australia or not, we hope you’ve found your answer. It’s extremely responsible of you to verify before you decide to jump into any random online casino. If more players become as conscious of the law as you, we’ll surely see a massive boom in the Aussie iGaming industry.