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Australian Online Gaming

Australia's online gambling policies are dictated by the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) of 2001. The Act prohibits operators from offering online casino gaming and poker to people located in Australia. It is also illegal to advertise online casino and poker services in Australia.

Online lotteries and the sale of lottery tickets over the Internet, as well as sports wagering and race wagering, are permitted and are licensed and regulated by the individual states and territories of Australia. Wagering on a sport, race or other event after it has already begun is not permitted, nor are keno-style games, scratch tickets or instant lotteries.

To circumvent this prohibition on in-play betting on sporting matches, in spring 2015 William Hill Australia rolled out a "Click To Call" smartphone app that relies on voice recognition technology. Similar apps from competing companies followed. In July 2015, the Australian Federal Police launched an investigation of the apps' legality. William Hill continues to offer its app as the situation remains a legal gray area.

Most Australian states and territories have licensing regimes for sports wagering and lotteries, but many of them permit only the state-authorized totalizator to offer sports betting. Tasmania licenses peer-to-peer betting exchanges.

In early 2012, an interim report was released with proposals to liberalize Australia's gaming laws to include access to legal online poker tournaments and live in-play sports betting, which is currently legal by phone or in person. The liberalization would help protect players who are already spending up to AUD 1 billion a year at offshore sites that are unlicensed in Australia. The proposals included self-exclusion from gaming sites, pre-commitment and easily accessible data on how much a player is spending. No action was ever taken on the report.
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