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Is Online Poker Legal in Australia?

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It’s no surprise that many Australians are avid fans of the game. However, is online poker legal in Australia?

Under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA), offering and promoting online poker services to Australian residents is illegal. The 2017 Internet Gambling Amendment Bill banned operators from providing real money online poker games. However, offshore poker sites are still available for Australian players despite regulations.

Let’s learn more about Australian online poker laws.

Legality Of Online Poker In Australia

In Australia, the legality of online poker has been subject to various regulations, most notably the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) of 2001.

Federal Laws and Regulations

Initially, the IGA restricted local online gambling businesses from offering services within the country’s borders.

So, despite restrictions, Australian players could participate in legal online gambling on offshore platforms licensed and regulated overseas.

However, the landscape shifted when the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill of 2016 was enacted. This amendment made it illegal for Australian players to engage in real-money online poker on offshore sites unless the platforms also held an Australian license.

So, Players must carefully choose licensed, offshore online poker sites to comply with laws outside of Australia.

State and Territory Laws

While the IGA provides a federal framework for online gambling in Australia, each state and territory has laws and regulations for activities like online poker. Some states may have extra restrictions for online poker operators, while others may take a more relaxed approach.

For instance, Online poker is strictly regulated in Western Australia, and playing with offshore operators could have legal consequences for residents.

Conversely, New South Wales and Victoria allow Aussies to play online poker on licensed and regulated offshore sites.

So, as an Australian online poker player, you must be aware of the laws of your state or territory to operate within legal boundaries.

Currently, it is illegal to play online poker for real money in Australia due to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. The situation became even more complex with the passing of the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill in 2017, which banned online poker for real money, and the 2016 Internet Gambling Amendment Bill, which aimed to shut down online games.

However, Australians can play poker on offshore sites, as no law criminalizes their participation. Some online poker players use VPNs or other bypass technology to continue playing on offshore sites. But this practice still breaches Australian law.

Also, offshore gambling sites are not regulated by Australian authorities. So, you may have limited recourse if you encounter any issues.

The Future of Online Poker in Australia

The future of online poker in Australia is uncertain because of changes in legislation and debates over regulations.

Australia restricts online casino services to its residents via the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001, but offshore operators still target the Australian market.

The government has banned credit cards and other related payments for online gambling to protect Australians from potential harm. The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2023 imposes fines for operators who don’t enforce the ban.

There are ongoing debates among Australians about better regulating online gambling. Some say Australia is lagging behind Europe and want the government to fix gaps in regulation and harmful “patchwork legislation.”

However, there’s been lobbying for its approval as a game of skill, and it could be legalized in the future.

Tips for Australian Online Poker Players

Here are some tips for playing safe and legal online poker in Australia.

  • Understand the laws and their implications for online poker.
  • Stay updated about the online gambling laws.
  • Consult a lawyer about the legality of playing online poker if you have queries.
  • Look for sites that are licensed and regulated by reputable jurisdictions.
  • Ensure the site uses secure, encrypted connections for transactions.


Is online poker legal in Australia?

Online poker services are prohibited by the IGA in Australia, but players can still access offshore sites. But you should stay informed about the latest legal developments and prioritize choosing reputable offshore poker sites licensed by respected regulatory bodies.


The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 and the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill of 2016 restrict access to online poker in Australia. While offshore sites are still accessible, using them is illegal under Australian law.

Can I play online poker in Australia for real money?

Yes, Despite legal restrictions, Australians can still play real-money poker online. The Interactive Gambling Act has affected the market, but players are not penalized for participating. The law primarily affects operators rather than players.

How to play online poker in Australia?

To play online poker in Australia, choose a reputable site, create an account, verify it, and deposit funds. Select your game type, join a table, and play responsibly by managing your bankroll and setting limits.

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