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Tasmania Online Casinos

Tasmania 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.

Situated to the south of Australia’s mainland, the state of Tasmania is home to just over 500,000 people, most of which live in its capital, Hobart. Unsurprisingly, the island is filled with natural attractions, and much of the island is made up of parks, reserves, and heritage sites. Cooler than most of the country, many areas in Tasmania are home to significant snowfall during the winter, a reality that flies in the face of the stereotypes much of the world has about Australia.

On the other hand, this state is pretty typical for the country when it comes to gambling culture. There are casinos, lotteries, pokies, horse and dog racing, and sports betting all available here. Even online play is partially regulated thanks to the availability of bookmaker and lottery products over the Internet. And while full online casino play is not condoned under federal law, many overseas firms are more than happy to allow Tasmanian gamblers to play for real money on their sites.

Casinos and Racing Popular

Tasmanian residents played a very important role in the history of Australian gambling. In 1968, the people of the state voted on a referendum that had the potential to allow for the first legal land-based casino in all of Australia. After a contentious battle, the plan was approved by 53% of voters, a slim but decisive victory for those who were looking to expand gambling on the island.

In 1973, the Wrest Point Hotel was rebranded by the Wrest Point Hotel and Casino, and resort gaming was a reality in Tasmania. In 1982, a second venue was opened in Launceston, which is known as the Country Club Tasmania. Both of these locations are still in operation today, owned and operated by the Federal Group, which has had a full monopoly on both casinos and pokies in the state ever since. Agreements with the Government have ensured that this monopoly will last until at least 2023, while also capping the number of poker machines in the state to just under 3,700.

As in most parts of the country, the lottery system here is controlled by the Tatts Group, better known simply as Tatts. Through Tatts, Tasmanian players can compete in drawings that are held nationwide, offering major jackpots that rival some of the biggest lottery games in the world. Some of the most popular drawings include Oz Lotto, Powerball, and Saturday Lotto.

Racing is a popular activity in Tasmania, where both horse and greyhound races are held at several tracks. Tasracing, a state-owned company, handles the funding and oversight for the industry here, including offering parimutuel betting services to bettors. Perhaps the most renowned track in the state is Elwick Racecourse, which has been open since 1974 and was recently redeveloped in 2004. Once known as Tattersall’s Park, it now goes by the name of UBET Park. The flat track is home to the Hobart Cup, a race that has been run every year since 1875, and is now contested as a Group 3 race. Other notable races take place at Tasman Park near Launceston, with greyhounds racing in Devonport and Launceston as well.

Foreign Operators Provide Internet Casino Games

As is the case throughout all of Australia, online gambling in Tasmania is governed by the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act. This law was passed by the Australian Government in order to set policy for Internet gaming, mostly with the purpose of restricting access to sites in order to limit the potential negative impacts of web-based gambling expansion.

It’s important to understand exactly what this law does, as it impacts different forms of betting in very different ways. Quite clearly, it makes it an offense to offer casino games or poker to Australians over the Internet, both for companies based in the country and for foreign operators who might want to target Aussies. However, it does not make it illegal to play on any sites: there are on legal consequences whatsoever targeting individuals, who are still free to make their own choices as to where they will play and with which operators they spend their money.

There are also exceptions when it comes to operators, as some forms of Internet betting are still legal. Generally, these fall into the categories of bets that could not be considered to be “interactive.” For instance, licensed bookmakers are free to take wagers on sporting events over the Internet. The only exception is for “in-play” betting: if a match or game has already begun, such bets must be taken in person or over the phone (though some operators have tried to work around these restrictions by using the calling functionality on mobile phones to fulfil the legal requirements). Similarly, lotteries may sell tickets for drawings online, but cannot sell any instant win games over the Internet.

This has resulted in something of a two-tiered system of Internet gaming in Australia. First, there are a number of locally-regulated bookmakers who offer a full range of sports betting options in the country. In addition to traditional names like Sportsbet, Centrebet, and Tom Waterhouse, this group has grown to include many European giants who have successfully applied for licenses in the country, such as Ladbrokes, William Hill, Betfair and bet365. All of these sites are operating completely legally in Tasmania, though they only offer sports betting.

For other games, there are numerous sites (perhaps numbering in the thousands) operated by overseas companies that are happy to accept play from Australian customers. These operators treat Australia as a “grey market,” meaning that while they acknowledge that they are unlicensed here, they believe they are at no risk of prosecution, and that with no actual path to licensing available, they feel comfortable operating without any formal approval.

These companies typically offer up suites of casino games, poker rooms, and in some cases, even sports betting operations that compete against those licensed in Australia. The key thing to remember is that there are no laws stopping Australians from playing on these sites, and with the Government having little success in keeping them out of the market, they remain quite popular in the country even with the presence of regulated options.

Legal Review Could Shake Up Industry

While gambling reform has been a hot topic in Australia over the past few years, there has been little actual progress, particularly at the federal level. That could change, however, as the Government’s review of the modern interactive gaming industry was released in 2016, suggesting a number of ways in which officials could modernize the increasingly archaic Interactive Gambling Act. Unlike previous attempts at reform, however, many of the proposed changes are actually being welcomed by the Australian gaming industry, even if they may not be quite as beloved by players.

The review, conducted by Barry O’Farrell, came out with a variety of suggestions for the Government to consider. One of the highest profile areas of concern were the loopholes being used by some firms, including William Hill, to get around the prohibition on web-based in-play betting on sporting events. It seems very likely that the government will soon pass laws to close such loopholes, and at least some operators have proactively stopped taking bets in anticipation of such changes. Many industry officials opposed the change, however, saying that it would simply send Australians to offshore bookies to make their in-play bets, leading to even less oversight of the practice.

On the other hand, those same officials praised a call for tougher sanctions against those same foreign operators that have been competing against them despite not being licensed to do so. New tactics to clamp down on offshore sites could include making Internet service providers block access to unlicensed gaming sites, or working with financial institutions to block transactions to and from these companies. Executives from such firms could even be barred from entering Australia.

In Tasmania itself, there are a couple of interesting gaming topics that have been receiving attention lately. First, there is the question of whether the Tasmanian Government should follow along with NSW and the ACT in banning greyhound racing. While those jurisdictions have pledged to ban the practice from next year following coverage of the sometimes cruel conditions facing dogs who race at tracks in Australia, Tasmanian officials have said they will not move to immediately put a ban into place. However, Premier Will Hodgman said that they would continue to observe the situation, and that they are awaiting the findings of a Parliamentary Committee tasked with evaluating the industry in Tasmania.

There’s also the question of whether the Federal Group will be able to maintain its monopoly on land-based gaming in the state for much longer. In recent months, there have been calls for an open tender process for future negotiations over gaming licenses, and the Museum of Old and New Art has expressed an interest in running a handful of table games for wealthy foreign visitors who might want to try their hand at blackjack, baccarat, or roulette after browsing the galleries.

Even if the next round of negotiations should go extremely poorly – which seems unlikely, as most Government and Opposition officials have praised Federal – the earliest a monopoly could run out would be 2018. The current agreement runs through 2023, which seems like a more realistic date, though many lawmakers have also expressed an interest in making concessions to MONA’s rather limited requests before then.

It’s likely that both of these issues will see significant movement in the months to come. It’s hard to imagine that Tasmania won’t eventually be pressured into giving up dog racing, or at least making significant changes to the industry in the very near future. Meanwhile, it seems likely that Federal will continue to be the dominant force in state gaming, though even they might be willing to let MONA have a few tables. Combine these issues with the federal Government’s renewed interest in making changes to online gambling policy, and it seems like this is a very interesting time for Tasmanian punters, as many changes could be in store over the next few years.

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