Can You Play Online Poker in Australia?

Aussies love to gamble online. Many enjoy playing pokies, placing bets, and fantasy sports. Online poker is very popular as well. Being able to compete online allows you to practice and even compete in tournaments. Since land-based Australian casinos host poker tournaments, playing online helps the players stay sharp.

There are many poker games that you can play on the internet, but many wonder – can you play online poker in Australia? The answer is yes, but the question you should be asking is – can you play online poker for money in Australia? That is a more tricky question to tackle, and we will answer it in detail.

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Can You Play Online Poker in Australia Legally?

A few years back, it was easy to access a gambling site and compete in online poker. That has changed in 2017. So, if you are wondering – is online poker banned in Australia? The answer is yes. You cannot win real money playing this game. Still, you are free to play any console, mobile casino, PC games, and mini-games on social media where you can’t win real money.

The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill that was passed in 2017 was aimed at foreign businesses and wanted to limit their access to the Australian market. As a result, many big brands like 888poker and PokerStars are no longer accepting Aussies.

You might automatically wonder – can you play online poker in Australia with a VPN? The answer is yes, but that’s not a good idea. Operators can ban you and make any of your winnings void if you use a VPN to access their site. Another reason why this is a bad idea is because there are gambling sites that still accept players from Australia, and we will talk about those as well.

Online Poker Licensing and Regulations in Australia

Many want to know – is online gambling banned in Australia? The short answer is yes, and it has been since 2001. What this meant is that you are not allowed to offer this form of entertainment to Aussies. The 2017 amendment also serves as an outright ban, because foreign businesses are no longer allowed to do this as well.

The only exceptions are non-profit charitable organisations. Interactive gambling licensing is conducted by Business Queensland, and non-profit charities are eligible to apply for the license. The application fee is around 20,000 AUD, and depending on the types of games you wish to offer, the government will determine the licensing fee. The key person license is approximately 600 AUD, and the applicant also needs to pay an equipment evaluation fee.

Still, if you plan to organise poker tournaments, you should seek independent legal advice. This may be considered an online game of skill, and the requirements might not be the same. But if you only wish to host video poker games, then it would fall under Interactive gambling licensing.

Aussies are allowed to use offshore sites, though. These are operators that aren’t regulated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, so the consumer protection laws don’t apply to them. These sites are still regulated and licensed by other gambling authorities, and players from all over the world use those sites.

Availability of Online Poker Platforms

Now that we have fully answered the question – is online poker legal in AUS? – let’s see where you can play.

  • Ignition Casino – If you wish to compete against others and play in tournaments, then this is an ideal site for you. You can get a 100% match on the first deposit up to $1000, and those funds can be used in online poker rooms.
  • Red Dog – A great online gambling site with lots of video poker games. They have big promotions for new players, but these are intended for slot games. Also, if you claim the promo and play video poker, only 20% of the money spent on these wagers will count toward bonus rollover requirements.
  • Richard Casino – Another great operator that accepts Aussies and with a big selection of poker games. There are both video poker and live dealer poker games, but there are no options that allow you to play against other players. Once again, there are ongoing promos that you can claim to boost your bankroll, and there is a big welcome offer.
  • 7Bit – This is an amazing option for Australian players who are looking to play all sorts of casino games. Their bread and butter are slot titles, but you’ll also find a few video poker games. Their promotions are quite generous, but they are primarily aimed at slot players.
  • Rocket – If you are someone who gambles frequently, then Rocket is a perfect fit. They have specific weekly promos for almost every day of the week. Which means you can get a new bonus each day. There is a big collection of slots, table games, and mini-games, and there are a few video poker titles as well.
  • AussiePlay – They have a poker section on the website, but you can find additional poker games in the table game category as well. There is no live casino, though, but the promotions they have can be used on certain poker games.
  • Ricky Casino – An amazing operator for high-rollers who love big promos. Their welcome bonus applies to the first 10 deposits, awards up to 7,500 AUD, and 550 free spins. There are around 8 poker games on Ricky Casino, but none of them are in the Live Casino section.

All of the listed operators are licensed and regulated by e-Gaming Curacao. We will explore the benefits of this arrangement, but we will also address some potential drawbacks.

Payment Methods

Curacao regulators are the only licensing body that allows operators to support crypto payments. As a result, the suggested sites are crypto-friendly and allow players to make deposits and withdrawals using cryptocurrencies:

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Dogecoin
  • Tether

Some of them even have promos that incentivise the use of crypto. Given how you will be performing cross-border transfers, this is by far the most efficient and safest option for those types of payments.

Of course, the operators are aware there are many gambling enthusiasts out there who aren’t into crypto-trading. So, there are multiple digital payment methods available that don’t rely on the blockchain network.

  • Visa/MasterCard
  • Apple Pay
  • Jeton
  • MiFinity
  • NeoSurf
  • Skrill
  • ecoPayz
  • Interac
  • PaySafeCard
  • Bank Transfer

The customer support agent will tell you what are the best payment methods to use depending on your location. Also, if you use these methods for withdrawals, the processing time will be longer, especially if you use the regular bank transfer. The approximate wait time is 72 hours.

Player Safety and Security

Given how offshore sites do not answer to the Australian government, it’s incredibly important that you are extra cautious about where you play. It would be wise to visit Australian user forums and see what other players have to say about these sites.

The sites that were recommended here all use 128-bit SSL encryption and secure payment methods. They have an easy-to-reach and responsive customer support team. So if you have any concerns, you can use live chat to ask questions. The operators even have responsible gambling tools, and we will talk about those in detail as well.

It’s also worth pointing out that all of these sites have robust privacy policy. So, they will ask you to submit verification documents before allowing you to withdraw your funds. Read the terms and conditions before making an account.

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Promotions and Bonuses

The majority of the listed casinos award bonus funds that you can use how you see fit. In other words, you can play poker games using those bonuses. Even money that you win on the free spins can be later used to bet on poker. Unfortunately, if you wish to turn those promotions into withdrawable cash, it will be tricky. Especially if you plan to play poker.

Some of the operators have frequent and ongoing promos, which means you can get extra cash, free spins, and cashback on a daily basis. But almost all of these promotions have high rollover requirements. You will need to wager the bonus amount between 50 and 70 times if you wish to become eligible for withdrawal. What’s more, meeting those terms is more difficult when you play poker games. Since these games have a lower house edge, only between 5% and 20% of the wagered money counts towards meeting rollover requirements.

As a result, you are potentially better off not claiming the promotions if you only plan on playing poker. On the other hand, if you love slots and plan to play these games, then meeting the rollover requirements will be easier.

When it comes to VIP perks these can also reward extra funds in the form of cash backs and free spins. You also get some quality-of-life features like fast withdrawals, a dedicated account manager, and promo codes.

Tips for Responsible Gaming in Australia

Regardless of whether is online gambling legal in Australia or not, you should always be disciplined with your spending. Don’t allow your impulses to dictate your spending habits, and feel free to use the available responsible gambling tools to limit your budget.

Another feature you can use for bankroll management is the loss limit. This will also prevent you from wagering additional funds once you have lost the set amount of money. Additionally, you can use a reality check tool to see how much you have won and how much you have lost.

In case you feel you are spending way too much time on these sites then look for the time-out or time-limits tool. One limits the number of hours you can spend per day, while the other prevents you from accessing the site until a certain time period has expired.

Finally, if you feel you have a hard time controlling gambling habits and none of the other tools can help you, then you should definitely apply for self-exclusion. This will prevent you from accessing the site completely.

In general, if you only play these games casually from 20 minutes to an hour a day, you shouldn’t have any of these issues.

Conclusion

Hopefully, we have successfully answered the question – is online casino gambling legal in Australia? Now you know how and where you can play online casino and poker games for real money, and you know the pros and cons of using these sites. Always remember to read the terms and conditions that pertain to bonuses, as well as deposits and withdrawals. Use the available safety tools to limit your spending if needed, and remember to always play for fun.

FAQ

Is Online Poker Legal in Australia?

It is illegal for businesses to provide interactive online gambling entertainment in Australia. The only exceptions are non-profit charity organizations. Aussies can still access offshore sites and gamble there.

Can I Play Poker Online for Real Money in Australia?

You can play poker video, and mobile games where you can’t win real money. The only way to gamble and win real money online is to use foreign operators.

What Are The Best Free Online Poker Sites?

The sites we listed here will allow you to play video poker for free, even without an account. If you wish to compete against others for free, then you can download an app like Governor of Poker 3 or games like Pure Hold’em.

Author

frankie wilde author
Article by
Frankie Wilde
Frankie Wilde is our senior writer and editor. Not only is he a literature graduate, but he also has years of experience in providing casino review expertise. He’s worked for writing companies, as well as for i-gaming brands.