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Interactive Gambling Act 2001, No. 84 (2001) (Australia) (full-text).
In July 2001, following a year-long moratorium on the development of the interactive gaming industry, the Australian Parliament enacted the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 that prohibits operators from providing an Internet gambling service to Australian residents. The Act applies to interactive casinos and games on the Internet but does not apply to sports wagering or lotteries, which continue to be regulated by existing state and territorial legislation. It covers all interactive gambling service providers, including those based in Australia and offshore, and both Australian and foreign-owned businesses.
The maximum penalty for violations is $220,000 AUD ($121,000 USD) per day for individuals and $1.1 million AUD ($606,000 USD) per day for corporate bodies. The act also makes it an offense to provide such services to people in a “designated country” — that is, one that has asked for and received that designation from the Australian Minister of Communication, Information Technology, and the Arts to prohibit interactive gaming operators licensed in Australia from offering services to its citizens.
The Act does not prohibit online sports wagering and lotteries. Instead, these activities are regulated by Australian state and territorial legislation. Generally, state and territorial legislation prohibits online sports wagering and lotteries unless the operator is licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. The Act provides both for self-regulation and government monitoring.
Internet service providers are tasked with developing a code of practice relating to Internet gambling matters. If the industry fails to act, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (the Authority) may set industry standards that, among other things, ensure that Internet service providers provide customers with appropriate filtering software or similar devices to prevent access to prohibited websites. The Authority is empowered to implement a complaints-based regime aimed at further preventing interactive gambling service providers from targeting Australian customers. The Authority can initiate investigations of interactive gambling activities and can also accept complaints from the public. Violations are referred to the police. The Act also incorporates processes designed to ensure appropriate government review and, if required, revision.
The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy currently is undertaking a review of the operation of the IGA.
- ↑ A “designated country” is defined in Section 9A of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, No. 84 (2001).