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Queensland Online Casinos

Queensland 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 government 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.

Comprising most of north-eastern Australia, Queensland is not only the second-largest state in the country, but one of the biggest subdivisions in the entire world. The coastal portions of the state include large cities like Brisbane, Cairns, and the Gold Coast. In fact, for most of the past century, Queensland was the fastest growing state in the nation, only recently surpassed by Western Australia.

Queensland also has one of the more active gambling industries in the country. There are four full casino resorts in the state, more than in any other area of Australia. And if you’d rather play at home, there are plenty of ways to gamble online as well, from the regulated bookmaking sites hosted by Australian companies to an endless stream of foreign-run casino sites that are happy to let Australians play for real money.

Four Casinos Dot State

The gaming industry has been present in Queensland for a long time, though it is only fairly recently that it looked anything like the behemoth that it has turned into today. The first horse races were held in Brisbane way back in 1843, and lotteries were introduced here nearly a century ago. But other than an expansion of parimutuel wagering to off-course venues in the 1960s, the industry remained largely the same for most of the 21st century.

In the 1980s, however, casino gambling began to take hold. The Conrad Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast was opened in late 1985, making it the first gaming resort in the state. It was followed just months later by the Sheraton Townsville, and the gambling expansion era had begun.

Both of those venues are still open, though they are now operated under different names. They were joined by two more venues, in Brisbane and Cairns, to bring the total number of casinos up to four, the highest of any territory or state in Australia. The current resorts in operation here include:

These resorts offer a variety of amenities, such as restaurants, bars, and conference centres, along with hotels. In some cases, the ownership and names of these casinos are still changing: for instance, the Jupiters casino will become The Star, Gold Coast in the near future.

Of course, gaming happens well outside of these traditional resorts. Starting in 1992, it became legal of licensed clubs, taverns, and hotels to start operating pokies, which quickly turned into a flood of machines that could be found just about everywhere throughout Queensland. Within a year, there were more than 9,000 poker machines in the state; in 2016, that number had ballooned to more than 42,000, bringing in over $180 million each month.

Queensland branded version of “the Lott,” the national lottery system run by Tatts Group, is known as the Golden Casket Lottery Corporation. While it was originally operated by the state government, Tatts took over as of 2007, and today offers a wide variety of games ranging from local jackpots such as Gold Lotto to national contests including Oz Lotto and Powerball.

As we mentioned earlier, racing also has a very long history in the state. Racing Queensland oversees all types of races here, ranging from thoroughbreds to harness racing and greyhound racing as well. Brisbane and the Gold Coast host some of Australia’s biggest horse races, including the $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap every June at Eagle Farm Racecourse.

Online Gambling Partially Regulated

One of the more interesting aspects of Australian gaming is the fact that some online options are permitted by federal and state governments, while others cannot be offered at all. Licensed bookmakers are able to offer bets on sports not only through retail shops, but also at their websites. Brands such as William Hill, Unibet, Ladbrooks, Sportsbet, and Betfair are just some of the many that are licensed by the federal government.

The online offerings are subjected to some slight restrictions, however. While most options are available by any method punters like, in-play bets – those on odds that are changing based on the events occurring in the middle of a match or game – are only offered by phone or in person. Some firms have come up with clever workarounds for this, allowing for bettors to place these wagers using their mobiles simply by utilize some of the “phone” functions, essentially allowing in-play betting over the web. However, it is likely that the government will close this loophole in the near future.

Other than the sale of some lottery tickets, however, there are no other online gambling options available in a regulated formats in Queensland or anywhere else in the country. This is due to the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act, which governs all interactive gaming throughout the nation. The bill made it illegal to offer real money gambling to Australians, whether a company is based in Australia or overseas. However, it doesn’t make it an offence to simply play on these sites, meaning individuals can participate on foreign sites without being worried about breaking the law.

The Australian government has also had difficulty in enforcing the ban against foreign companies. To this day, countless groups allow Australians to take part in their games, happily regarding the country as a grey market: one in which there may not be a path to licensing, but where they feel they can operate freely. These include some of the biggest casino and poker operators in the world, making it possible to play on a great number of reputable and trustworthy sites.

Interacting Gambling Review Could Trigger Change

For some time now, many lawmakers and industry insiders have agreed that the Interactive Gambling Act has outlived its usefulness, and that it is time to upgrade the law to deal with the modern form of the gaming industry. A review was finally ordered in 2015, and in 2016, the government accepted most of the recommendations made in the report, which was put together by former NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell.

The review made a variety of suggestions designed to modernize gambling laws. One of these has already been mentioned earlier on this page: an attempt to close the loopholes that now essentially allow in-play betting on mobile devices. That was one of several areas in which many observers were unclear which way the report would fall; in the end, most of the recommendations came down on the side of reigning in the industry rather than expanding it.

For instance, it was suggested that bookmakers would no longer be allowed to offer credit to customers, and that a national self-exclusion list should be put into place, and that there should be a consistent, national approach to gambling advertising (though in that regard, there were few specifics as to what that policy should be).

Perhaps the strongest words were saved for the Internet gambling industry, and in particular, the many overseas sites that currently accept business from Australians. This was a welcome addition to the report for licensed operators in the country: according to some reports, Aussies bet up to $400 million each year on those websites.

There are several steps that could be taken in order to clamp down on these sites. Suggestions included making it clearer that these sites are violating Australian law, and perhaps punishing the executives of companies that continue to offer their games here, including preventing them from entering the country. Internet service providers could be asked to IP block access to offending websites, while banks and other financial institutions could be called upon to help clamp down on transactions to and from overseas gaming operators.

All of these tactics have been tried in other countries as well, with various levels of success. But in no case have we seen them be entirely effective: there are always a few casinos and poker rooms that slip through the cracks, and players always seem to have a knack for finding them. It’s unclear exactly how vigorously the government will crack down on the industry, but even in the worst case scenario, it’s likely that many options will remain for players – and that playing for real money still won’t be criminalized for individuals.

This all means that in the short run, there could be some bumpy moments for those who want to gamble over the Internet in Queensland. But in the long run, it’s unlikely that the practice will ever be stopped; in fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if Australia at some point decides to let licensed operators offer a wider variety of games to their users.

Meanwhile, Queensland’s land-based industry remains as stable as ever. With four fully-fledged casinos and tens of thousands of pokies, there should be no shortage of options for bettors here anytime in the foreseeable future.

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