Playing Australian Slots
Offline gambling has been very popular for many years but playing online pokies in Australia is a relatively new pursuit for many. It’s a world that when a player first ventures into it they’d be surprised by how much choice they have.
While it can be daunting to be able to find a reputable website for playing online pokies in Australia, something that Aussies need to be aware of is what is legal and what isn’t legal in the country.
There’s no cause for alarm though, because that’s why we’re here. In our guide to online pokies we’ll tell you all about the gambling law in Australia and how you can make sure you stay legal even when you’re online. We’ll tell you things which make a good website and what makes for a bad website for online pokies in Australia and give you a better insight into online gambling in general. Read on to find out more.
History of Gambling in Australia
For many years, Australians who wished to gamble and did so were breaking the law. Australians are known worldwide for their love of sports and it was illegal to bet on any of it until 1961. The first TABs didn’t open until 1961, but these not surprisingly proved a massive hit. The number of them grew rapidly and they were a real boon for the state who were capitalising on something which they’d made illegal for so many years. All the state-run TABs are now in private ownership.
In 1973, Australia got its first legal casino and pretty much every form of gambling, including pokies, was then legal in the country. The number of casinos grew quickly as it was noticed how much money there was in them, both for the owners and the state, and it was realised that Australians loved nothing more than gambling in its various forms.
As with most other countries around the world, online gambling grew and grew during the early 2000s and suddenly there was a lot more choice of where to bet or play. For the first time, online pokies came to Australia and it was an exciting time.
Is It Legal to Gamble on Australian Slot Machine Websites?
Online gambling didn’t just appear overnight, but Australia, like many other countries, wasn’t prepared for it legislation-wise. It was thought that existing gambling laws would cover it, but it was a little more complicated than that for most.
In 2001 the Australian government approved the Interactive Gambling Act which rather than encourage online gambling, was actually designed to suppress it. The state was officially worried about a spiralling gambling addiction problem, but those who were more sceptical suggested it was more to do with a potential loss of revenue to offshore operators. The main part of this act was to limit advertising for online gambling websites in any way.
The Interactive Gambling Bill in 2016 amended the original act and effectively made all offshore gambling online illegal. However, that’s not to say that online gambling is totally outlawed in Australia. There are a number of perfectly legal places to play online pokies in Australia, it’s just that the state has the absolute final say on everything online gambling-based.
In order to be able to gamble online in Australia, players must be at least 18 years of age and must be able to adequately prove this upon signing up with any of the legal sites for online pokies in Australia.
It can be a bit of a minefield finding a legal and trustworthy site for online gambling sometimes, but to be safe you should only use those which we recommend for Australian players.
What Makes a Great Australian Pokies Website?
When you are on the lookout for a site where you can play online pokies in Australia there are a few factors you need to consider, as well as it being legal, before you start to play or even register. The following are important when choosing an online pokies site:
A site being approved by the state doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily one at which you want to play. Players want to have fast access to their winnings and online casinos which pay out quickly are obviously preferred over those which take a week to transfer your money into your account.
Some have a period of up to 48 hours where you can reverse a withdrawal before they will even begin to process it, but it is seen as a dishonest delaying tactic.
It is generally a rule that using e-wallets for payment results in quick and almost instant transfer of funds. If your online casino of choice accepts this method of payment, then there’s a good chance they’ll be speedy when it comes to withdrawals.
There are so many places to play online pokies in Australia and they all want your business. This is perfect for players as the online casinos and slot machine websites generally offer you a pretty healthy financial incentive to become their customer.
There are free spins given out to new players which means you can play and learn a particular game without any financial risk and still have a chance of winning some real money.
Far and above the best bonus, though, is the deposit bonus. This usually involves the casino doubling the amount of your first deposit. This can be hundreds or in some cases thousands of dollars. Some will offer incremental deposit bonuses where anything up to your first four deposits are rewarded with a matched bonus.
All bonuses come with a catch, it’s not free money exactly. You will have to stake the bonus amount a predetermined number of times before the money actually becomes yours. It’s worth reading the terms and conditions before signing up or accepting a bonus.
While most online casinos use nothing but the best software and games from only the top providers, there are some who offer a substandard gambling experience. It’s always worth finding out if the quality of a game is as it should be before you invest time and money into playing it.
Things you will want to look out for are that the graphics and sound are as they should be, that the game plays smoothly, that there are no glitches at any point during playing and that the game doesn’t unexpectedly crash periodically.
Sites to Avoid
As well as good sites to play pokies there are also some bad ones. They may not be apparent at first, but you will want to avoid them at all costs. In order to help you, as part of our regular testing we tell you which casino and pokies sites we have blacklisted. That way you don’t get any nasty surprises when gambling online.