Australian Online Casinos
Australia has a very particular online casino industry that centers around their history of land-based gambling. It’s very slot-based, though there is a bit of a following for table games as well. They also have a number of legal issues that players need to know about because there are a ton of misconceptions. In what follows, we’re going to break down point by point what players need to know before they log in and get started playing at casino sites in this country.
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The main law as relates to Australian online casinos is the Interactive Gambling Act, also known as the IGA for short. Many people have the misconception that this bans all online casino play in the country, but that is not the case. Instead, it bans a handful of specific games for online casinos that are operated from inside of the country’s borders. This leaves a ton of legal options for players, and in all honesty, it’s not clear to most industry experts just what the IGA was supposed to accomplish in terms of practical changes to the industry.
The games that are restricted include most traditional, non-slot, casino games. For example, roulette, blackjack, craps and various forms of poker are not allowed to be offered to Australian players if the casino itself operates from inside of country. Slots, known as pokies, as well as video poker, which can also be called pokies, are completely legal in this situation, and that’s largely due to the fact that they have historically been so widely available in Australian culture for several decades. The proliferation of pokies is one of the main driving forces towards the popularity of online slots in the country as well.
It’s important to note that the IGA also does not stop players from playing with foreign sites. Moreover, these sites are not required to limit availability to the banned games noted above, so players who really want to play them will have no problem doing so. This is what we meant above when we said that it’s not clear what the IGA was really supposed to do in terms of practicality, but players have to work within the regulatory reality they are given, even if it doesn’t really make sense.
To this end, off-shore sites are some of the best options for many Aussies, but there are certain things that you need to be aware of and prepared for before you sign up and start playing.
How to Vet Foreign Online Casinos
The regulatory system for online gambling is fairly disjointed on a global scale. There are several different jurisdictions that can offer licenses to online casinos, and with so many options out there, it’s clear that some places will have a better reputation than others. The best places for a site to be regulated are top-tier jurisdictions like the United Kingdom, Malta or Gibraltar. Some other good regulatory jurisdictions are Kahnawake and Curacao, though they aren’t quite on the top-tier level like the three we just mentioned.
To vet a foreign online casino, you have to look at their licensing first. Next, you can look at how long they have been around and what their reputation for cash outs and fairness has been in that time. Finally, you can take a look at the company that actually runs the casino and see what their history looks like. If all of these things check out, then you have a good bet. It’s worth pointing out that in all of our own reviews, we go into a great degree of depth on all of these points.
Banking and Cashier
Before you get started, you should know exactly how you’re going to make your deposits and withdrawals. The most popular options for credit cards are MasterCard and Visa, and the most popular electronic wallet choices are Skrill and Neteller. You can also make transactions at some sites with the cryptocurrency bitcoin, and bank transfers are usually offered as a withdrawal option just in case your primary choice for withdrawals goes down for some reason. This will help you to avoid situations of having money on a site that you can’t get back.
Take a look at the banking methods available at a site before you sign up, and make sure that you are looking to use some of the options they have available. This is a pretty simple step that can save you a major headache later on.
Promotions and Bonuses
Australian players who decide to go to foreign casino sites should take a little bit of care when it comes to taking on promotions and bonuses. The reason for this being such an issue is that you’ll be playing in Australian dollars, and some sites only allow USD, EUR and GBP for deposits. If you try to deposit in AUD and get hit with an exchange rate, it can change how much of a bonus you get, and that can limit the amount of value that you earn from the deal. Just make sure that you read the terms and conditions, especially involving which currencies you can use, before claiming any type of bonus or special offer.
The bottom line is that Aussies will have no problem playing slots with Australian-based online casinos, but if they want something more, they should go with foreign sites instead. The main legislation for online casino play in Australia, the IGA, does not keep you from doing this, and it’s really your only option for getting the games you want online. From there, just make sure the site you choose is vetted and that they have the banking methods available that you’ll want to use for deposits and withdrawals. Finally, check the fine print regarding the currency you want to use and the promotions and bonus offers that the site has available. If you do these few things, you’ll have a much more enjoyable experience.