Can NSW residents play casino games online?

A common question from NSW residents is whether or not it’s legal for them to play online casino games for real money. The long answer is a little complicated; we explain the legalities in further detail below.

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Australian Internet gambling regulations

It’s perfectly understandable Australian’s are a little wary about the laws applying to them when it comes to online gambling (also known as iGambling). At, we are well informed on the subject and stay up to date with any changes to legislation so our readers are receiving accurate truths.

The laws surrounding Australian online gambling laws, when stripped down, are quite simple. In 2001, the Howard Government introduced the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) which restricts online gaming companies from offering and advertising ‘real-money online interactive gambling services’ to Australian citizens. This Act was passed in order to protect Aussie residents from the potentially harmful effects of bringing gambling into the home.

Applicable to both home-owned and foreign-owned operators, companies which are found to be in violation of these laws can face up to a maximum penalty of $1.1 million dollars. The Australian online gambling laws are however, not consistent across the board, and the term ‘interactive’ only applies to a specific range of gambling services. Services not considered interactive are allowed to be offered to Australian residents. The IGA was brought in largely to target online casinos and online poker rooms, so it has deemed the following as ‘interactive’:

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  • Real money online casino games such as blackjack, roulette, pokies, baccarat, video poker, sic bo, craps, casino war and other popular gambling games.
  • Real money online poker games played between real players, hosted within poker rooms, such as Texas hold’em, Omaha, 7 card stud, razz and other forms of Internet poker (in both cash game and tournament formats).
  • Also classified as interactive within the Act are online instant win scratch cards (lottery-type cards), and live, in-play online sports betting.

What is imperative to understand for NSW punters is the above Act does not force any restrictions upon residents – it is completely legal for New South Wales and Australian residents to place access any of the above real money services at interactive gaming operators; there is no risk of punishment. The onus remains on the company.

And while no Australian-owned company currently offers interactive betting services, offshore operators do provide interactive gambling services to NSW residents, available to access in AUD currency. While these offshore companies are technically in violation of the IGA, no attempt has ever been made to thwart these businesses from providing such services.

So if you live in NSW, there are no laws preventing you from playing at an internationally operated online casino. The real money casinos recommended on our site all follow strict rules and regulations of their country of origin, support responsible gambling practices and adhere to the highest standards of Internet regulations, enforced by leading testing agencies within the gambling industry, such as eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) – an internationally accredited agency dedicated to ensuring high industry standards and player protection for online gaming.

Australian citizens can freely enjoy the convenience of gambling online from home or on the go from a PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet at any internationally based venue.

Best sites for NSW residents to play casino games

There’s an array of secure gambling venues on the Internet which cater to an Aussie audience. If you live in NSW but can’t be bothered with the dress codes and drink prices involved with playing at Sydney’s Star Casino, or you’re sick of the pokies crowd at your local pub, online casinos offer a great alternative.

The safest, most reputable offshore casino sites still accepting Australian players are listed in our casino table at the top of this page. These leading casinos provide great welcome bonuses for new players, and are all safe for NSW residents:

These sites offer a huge range of online pokies, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, poker, keno, bingo, video poker, scratch cards and live dealer games. Deposit and withdrawal options are available in AUD using a selection of secure banking methods including Visa, MasterCard, direct bank transfer, Skill, Neteller, Flexepin and Paysafecard.

Online gambling in Australia – what lies ahead?

There are certain political parties who have rallied to tighten Australian gambling laws for years, with Nick Xenophon and Andrew Wilkie leading the war against pokies. During the Labour-Government reign, attempts to regulate the use of real life pokies by enforcing monetary limitations and the use of smartcards was trialled, but later shut down by the Abbott-Government who saw those restrictions as ultimately ineffective. The Coalition focus was on support for counselling services for problem gamblers and voluntary pre-commitment systems for pokie players.

The Abbott-Government voiced the intention of tightening laws surrounding online gambling, agreeing offshore gambling venues which cater to Australians are not in compliance with the IGA. A review of the current restrictions has been called for, but no further changes to the existing laws has been made since the Turnbull-Government has taken over.

While it’s too early to say what the distant future has in store, for the foreseeable future it remains 100% legal for NSW residents to gamble over the Internet using reputable international casinos with no changes on the horizon anytime soon.

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