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New South Wales Online Casinos

New South Wales Online CasinosUpdate 2017: The Australian Government has now outlawed online casinos in the country. This means that operators are not licensed nor are they legally entitled to offer gambling services to Australian residents. Any sites that still accept Australian players are in direct contravention of Australian laws. Players funds may not be safe with these operators as they have no means of retrieving their funds in the case of any legal disputes. VegasSlotsOnline.com does not endorse any of these casinos and strongly recommends that Aussies avoid them until online gaming is regulated in the country.

The below article has been left online for informational purposes only.

Located in the south-eastern portion of the country, New South Wales (NSW) is the most populated state in all of Australia. The reason for this lies mostly in the fact that this is where you’ll find Sydney, the NSW capital and the largest city in the nation. The temperate climate along the state’s coast have made this not only a popular place to live, but also a world-renowned tourism destination, with millions enjoying the beaches here every summer (a particular delight for those from the Northern Hemisphere, who can escape their winter weather).

New South Wales also has a long history with the gaming industry. The state hosted many of the firsts for Australian gambling, from the official horse races to the first pokies ever legally installed and operated. In fact, NSW is one of the world’s largest concentrations of poker machines, a designation that is fitting considering Australia’s reputation as one of the world’s most gambling-friendly nations.

Long History, Vibrant Future

The history of betting in New South Wales goes back well over a century. Hyde Park in Sydney is said to have hosted the first official horse racing meet in the country in 1810, while the first sanctioned lottery was held in Sydney in 1881. That makes it little surprise that the state is still home to a very active gambling culture to this very day.

For starters, NSW is virtually the world’s capital when it comes to pokies. Nearly 100,000 machines are located in clubs and pubs across the state, making it second only to Nevada in the United States in terms of jurisdictions with slot machine-style games. This expansion into a global hub for pokies has happened over the course of only about 60 years, as the very first legal Australian machines were installed at registered clubs here in 1956. They quickly grew in popularity and outstripped other forms of gaming, bringing in extraordinary revenues for the NSW government.

For many years, only clubs were allowed to have the machines, but that has changed over time. In 1984, hotels were also permitted to host pokies, provided they did so within limits on both the type and quantity of games offered.

In 1995, a much larger player entered the poker machine game, as Sydney introduced its first ever casino. At the time, it was known as the Sydney Harbour Casino, but it has since been designated The Star Sydney. Today, The Star is the second-largest gambling resort in the country, trailing only the Crown Casino in Melbourne in terms of size. Due to an exclusivity agreement that is part of the casino’s license, it remains the only such venue in NSW – though that is expected to change in the near future, with a VIP casino that specializes in table games set to open.

Several other forms of gambling are offered in the state. For instance, there are many lottery games available through NSW Lotteries, which is managed by Tatts, the official licensed operator throughout Australia. The lottery has been a part of the state since 1931, and today players can choose from a number of major jackpot drawings, including Oz Lotto, Powerball, and the Saturday Lotto.

Horse racing in the state is controlled by Racing NSW. Dozens of different tracks are active here, providing racing on a year-round basis. Sports betting is also widely available and heavily advertised, with many firms being licensed by the Australian government to take bets in person or over the phone.

Offshore Sites Fill Gap in Online Play

For the most part, Australia does not allow for the licensing and regulation of online gambling. A notable exception to this comes in the world of sports betting, where those companies that have been licensed to provide bookmaker services are also allowed to take such bets over the Internet, with the exception of live, “in play” betting, which must be done over the phone. Online lottery sales are also exempt from these provisions.

In NSW, as in the rest of Australia, online gambling is largely regulated under the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act. This law made it illegal for operators to offer real money gaming to the residents of Australia, or to advertise such services in the country. However, this does not make it illegal in any way for individuals to access these sites and play on them if they choose to do so.

The result is a rather messy situation in which there are countless foreign sites offering their services to Australian in defiance of the law. Because these sites are hosted in other countries, there is very little the Australian government has been able to do in order to shut down their operations, and there has been little interest shown in going after the players participating on these sites.

That means there are a wide range of options available in Australia, which is largely regarded – at least for the time being—as a grey market for operations, one where some feel comfortable offering their games even without a clear regulatory framework. These include many well-respected and large gaming firms, giving Australians a very open selection when it comes to Internet casinos.

Fallout from Review Remains Unclear

In 2015, Prime Minister Tony Abbot ordered a review of the 2001 Interactive Gaming Act, based on the fact that the bill had become far too outdated to deal with the modern interactive gaming industry. At the time, it was unclear exactly what this would mean, with Social Services Minister Scott Morrison saying that the government would come into the process with “no preconceived ideas.”

The results of that review were released in April 2016. Much of the media attention went towards a recommendation that would strengthen the ban on in-play betting for sportsbooks, closing loopholes that had allowed some operators to sneak around the law by using just enough voice recognition in mobile apps to technically fulfil the requirement that such bets be made in person or by phone.

But the recommendations covered a wide range of issues, including some that could shake up the current state of online casinos in the country. In particular, the report spoke of using disruption tactics to make it harder for foreign companies to target Australians – and in turn, for Australians to play on those sites.

These tactics could include asking ISPs to block Internet gaming sites that are offering real money play to Australians, a move that has been used to varying levels of effectiveness by other countries. The government could also end up taking a move out of the United States’ playbook and work with financial institutions in order to stop the flow of money to such sites, though that could be trickier given the existence of legal, regulated online betting that already takes place throughout the country. Executives from unlicensed companies that offer betting in Australia could also be banned from the country.

There are also local issues that are still being hashed out in New South Wales. The state government has been actively working to curb problem gambling, and one of the biggest moves to that effect was passed late last year, as the state banned in-play odds from being broadcast in NSW. That ban went into effect in March 2016, and meant that television programmes had to make adjustments in order to ensure they could still be seen in the state. It’s worth noting that generic advertising for betting sites and bookmakers was still not part of the ban, a fact that some anti-gambling advocates were not happy about given the prevalence of advertisement for the industry. NSW has also taken other steps aimed at curbing problem gambling in the long run, including reducing the number of pokies that are present in the state – though, at least so far, this has failed to reduce the amount of revenue coming in through the machines.

More recently, final approval was given to a planned Crown Resorts casino in Barangaroo, Sydney, which is now expected to open for business by 2021. The controversial facility will contain several public spaces and include a six-star hotel, with the goal of attracting high-stakes VIP clients – particularly those from China who are now more likely to visit Macau or the United States.

Overall, the tenor of both the federal and NSW governments appears to be turning against gambling a bit. Restrictions on Internet gambling could make it somewhat more difficult for Australians to play casino games and poker online, especially if some of the larger companies that operate in the country decide it’s not worth the risk of hurting their overall regulatory profiles to gain access to the Australian market. Public pressure is also likely to continue to place at least modest restrictions on betting, advertising, and other aspects of the regulated side of the industry.

But despite these efforts, we have no reason to fear any drastic reduction in the availability of gambling in NSW or Australia as a whole. While the way in which the industry will be handled may change, and laws may be reformed, the underlying truth is still that Australians gamble more per capita than any other people in the world – something that speaks to just how large a role the industry plays in the culture, and how difficult it would be to seriously curtail betting on a large scale.

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