Are gambling apps legal in Australia?

Leo Vegas mobile casino app review

The Australian laws surrounding mobile gambling apps can sound a little tricky and hard to get your head around, but the take home message to remember is that it is 100% legal for Aussie players to place real money bets online and using mobile casino apps. This article will explain some of the legalities and loopholes to help clear the waters for uncertain punters.

In as basic terms as possible, Aussie law specifies under the Interactive Gambling Act that it’s illegal for a casino vendor operating within our borders to advertise its services to Australian residents, therefore Aussie punters are restricted from betting at any Australian run online casino or app.

However, the law does nothing to restrict Australians from playing or betting at any internationally run casino and it is entirely legal and safe to do so.

Likewise, leading app stores like Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play are supporting Aussie law by making moves to ban casino apps, but it is perfectly legal to access and play on any casino apps that remain available. Apple and Android get around this loophole by ensuring the gambling apps aren’t advertised, but the apps still exist within the app stores and are perfectly legal for us to use. These market casino apps are explained in further detail below.

The 2001 Interactive Gambling Act (IGA)

The Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) was established in 2001 by the Howard government in a bid to ensure real money gambling remained confined to the walls of a land based venue. The Act was created in order to protect problem gamblers by keeping gambling out of the home and limit the harmful effects of problem gambling to the Australian community.

The IGA is aimed towards operators and companies and not directly targeted at customers or players. The IGA specifically prohibits Aussie operated online casinos and casino app operators from:

Offering real money online interactive gambling services to Australian residents
Advertising real money interactive gambling services to Australian residents

These advertisement restrictions apply to all forms of media, both electronic and non-electronic and only apply to Aussie sites advertising services towards Aussie citizens. The IGA does not restrict an Australian run casino from offering its players to approved foreign residents.

These laws also don’t apply to Australian sports betting sites, provided that the online bet has been placed before the sporting event commences.

In a nutshell, the IGA prohibits Australian operators from marketing its services to Australian citizens, but does nothing to outlaw Australian citizens from legally placing real money wagers at foreign operated venues.

Legal native casino apps for Aussies

iOS and Android have been restricted to a certain degree by the IGA, but there are still some convenient native apps available for Australian mobile users to download for free or real money play. If you’re reading this on your smartphone or tablet, click on the links below to legally download either the Royal Vegas Casino app or the 32 Red casino app direct to your device.

Royal Vegas Casino app
For legal reasons, this is called Regal Vegas Casino within app stores, but it’s the same Royal Vegas Casino that we know and love. RVC is one of the longest running and most reputable casinos on the Net, and the market app gives you the choice of playing games for real wagers or for free in demo mode. Click the link to download the RVC app direct to your mobile device for free and enjoy gambling on the go with the best of the best Microgaming sites.
32Red Casino app
32Red is also powered by Microgaming, and the game catalogue doesn’t differ significantly from Royal Vegas’ offerings but you’ll find a good range of popular pokies titles along with blackjack, roulette and video poker along with ongoing promotions and bonus offers. Click the link to download the 32Red casino app for Android and Apple.

Legal browser based mobile casinos

While foreign based casinos may technically be in violation of the current bans enforced by the IGA, all the online casinos and gambling apps you’ll find recommended on our site are 100% legal for Australians to use and bet at.

As these sites operate outside of Australian jurisdiction it is difficult for these restrictions to be enforced, so what remains most important is the fact that players themselves aren’t breaking any laws.

Our recommended online gambling venues are all legally licensed by relevant gambling jurisdictions, following strict laws within the country of operation. They are all fully audited and accredited by the world’s leading online gambling regulatory body, eCOGRA, provide upmost player security and support responsible gambling practices. Each of these sites accept deposits in AUD and warmly welcomes Australian punters.

The following mobile casinos can be accessed instantly and legally with no download required direct over the Web browser of most smartphones and tablets, provided you have Flash, Java or HTML5 installed on your device:

Royal Vegas Casino
G’day Casino
Slots Million
Thrills Casino
32 Red
Jackpot City
Leo Vegas

Once the casino has loaded on your mobile, you can also create your own Web app simply by bringing up your in-browser options and selecting ‘add to home screen.’ This will send an icon of the casino direct to your mobile desktop for instant access to the venue just like when using a market app, but without any download required and no data restrictions.

Author: Ron Freeman