Introduction to the Australian market
Australia has one of the highest gambling rates in the world since gambling wins are not taxed. Such an activity is regarded as a hobby instead of a formal profession. Only the operators are taxed, and they have to obtain state licenses.
However, there is a general prohibition in all jurisdictions on the conduct and promotion of gambling. Legislative exemptions exist for gambling activities that are conducted under a license. With the introduction of online wagering in the late 20th century, the industry continues to flourish, despite the continuing conflict between the economic returns provided by the gambling sector to state and territory governments.
The Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) of 2001 is the primary piece of legislation governing online gambling in Australia. The law prohibits Australian-based online casinos and sportsbooks from offering gambling services to Australian residents. However, offshore operators can offer online gambling services, provided they are licensed in a recognized jurisdiction.
The IGA has been the subject of criticism and calls for reform, with some arguing that it has failed to effectively regulate the market and protect problem gamblers.
In September 2017, the IGA was amended by the Interactive Gambling Amendment Act 2017. Currently, the IGA bans the provision of “prohibited interactive gambling services” and “regulated interactive gambling services” without an Australian license.
According to a report by H2 Gambling Capital, the Australian iGaming market was worth approximately AU$2.86 billion in 2020. This figure is expected to grow to AU$3.33 billion by the end of 2023, indicating a steady market expansion.
The most popular forms of online gambling in Australia are sports betting, casino games, and poker. The report also found that mobile devices account for around 70% of all online gambling in Australia, highlighting the importance of mobile optimization for operators.
Online gambling in Australia is popular among both men and women, with the age of players ranging from 18 to 65 years old. However, it is predominantly popular among males, who account for around 75% of the market.
A survey by Roy Morgan found that 5.7 million Australians (out of a population of approximately 25 million) participate in some form of online gambling. The highest percentage of online gamblers were found to be aged between 25 and 34 years old.
The iGaming market in Australia is expected to continue to grow, especially as more players opt for the convenience and accessibility of online gambling. The COVID-19 pandemic has also likely contributed to a rise in online gambling participation, as people spend more time indoors and seek entertainment options while social distancing.
However, the future of the market also hinges on potential legislative changes. Calls for reform to the IGA are ongoing, with proposed changes including the introduction of a universal self-exclusion register and a national gambling regulator. If these changes are implemented, they could impact the market volume and operations of both local and offshore operators.
In conclusion, the iGaming market in Australia is a thriving industry with steady growth prospects. While the regulatory landscape remains in flux, operators who can effectively navigate the legal framework and offer an engaging player experience could potentially reap significant benefits in the years to come.