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Western Australia Online Casinos

Western Australia

Update 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. does not endorse any of these Australian casinos and strongly recommends that Aussies avoid them until online gaming is regulated in the country. Please visit our casinos by country page to check the regulation of other localities.

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

Making up a full one-third of the Australian mainland, Western Australia is – as you would expect – located on the western side of continental Australia. Despite being the largest state in the country, most of the land area here is very sparsely populated: only the south-western part of the state, which includes the city of Perth, has a significant number of people. In total, about 2.6 million people live here, and the economy relies heavily on tourism and in the production of natural resources.

When it comes to the gaming industry, Western Australia isn’t one of the more active areas of the nation such as New South Wales or Queensland. Still, there is one major casino in Perth, and most of the other popular gaming options like sports betting, lotteries, and racing can be found if you know where to look. In addition, the regulated online sportsbooks are active here, while many individuals also enjoy playing on overseas sites that grant access to real money casino games and poker.

Perth Features Crown Jewel of a Resort

The only casino currently operating in Western Australia is located in Perth, and was first envisioned in 1984. In the waning days of 1985, the facility – then known as the Burswood Island Casino – opened to the public.

Since then, the location has changed hands, with James Packer’s Crown Limited now owning and operating the facility that is today known as the Crown Perth. Since it first opened, the resort has undergone several rounds of renovations, and now includes as many as 2,400 machines (mostly pokies) as well as hundreds of table games. In addition, visitors can enjoy shows and entertainment at several venues, such as the Crown Theatre and a Grand Ballroom. There are also dozens of restaurants on the premises, as well as a hotel with nearly 1,200 rooms.

Interestingly, however, it’s not easy to find so much gaming outside of the Crown. In fact, that is the only location in the state that allows pokies, with all 1,750 poker machines in the region being located there. It is the strongest restriction on pokies you’ll find anywhere in Australia, as every other states has at least allowed some of the machines to be placed into clubs, if not also hotels, pubs, and potentially other locations. So far, the Government here has resisted any attempts to expand the reach of these games, even as some have advocated for their use in raising revenues for the state and other organizations.

Racing in the state is handled by Racing and Wagering Western Australia, with Perth Racing being the main club in the state. The most important track in the state is the Ascot Racecourse, which hosts the only three Group 1 races that are held in this part of the country: the Kingston Town Classic, the WATC Derby, and the Railway Stakes. However, perhaps the most popular race is the Perth Cup, held every year on New Year’s Day. The Group 2 handicap race offers up $500,000 in prize money, and has been raced nearly every year since 1887.

Greyhound racing is also alive and well in this state, which has mostly avoided the controversies seen in other parts of the country over the state of the industry. There are only three tracks that currently offer dog races, including Cannington, Mandurah, and Northam, with the industry being overseen by Greyhounds WA.

When it comes to playing the lottery, tickets and other products can be purchased through Lotterywest. This is the last completely state-owned and operated lottery corporation in Australia, as Tattersall’s has taken over the operations for all other states. For the average consumer, however, this makes little difference: residents here have largely the same set of options as everyone else in the country, with a mix of state-wide games and national drawings such as Powerball, Set for Life, and the Oz Lotto being offered here along with soccer pools and many more options.

Online Play Partially Regulated

Online gambling is alive and well in this state, as it is throughout all of Australia. However, there isn’t just one industry, but rather two separate ones: one regulated, and one comprised of offshore operators. Which one you choose to engage with will depend heavily on what it is you want to play.

First, a little background on the legal situation of Internet gaming in Australia. Currently, all online play is regulated through the Interactive Gambling Act, a bill passed in 2001 in order to enact controls over the web-based gaming industry. According to that bill, no “interactive” gambling can be offered, which means that online betting is mostly ruled out. The bill makes it illegal to offer such games to Australians whether a company is based in the country or in a foreign land; however, it is important to recognize that it does not criminalize playing on these sites, so individual players can take part in real money casino games or join up with poker sites without any threat of persecution.

On the other hand, there are elements of the virtual gaming market that are entirely legal and regulated here. The most prominent example is that of the sports betting industry, which has a long history in the country. There are many licensed bookmakers who offer a wide range of bets for punters on sporting events taking place all over the world, and these companies are also allowed to take bets over the Internet. There is one exception to this rule: in-play betting is not allowed online, as bookies may only take wagers on events already in progress at a retail location or over the phone. Some operators have found ways around this, though these loopholes will likely be closed soon.

Similarly, many lottery products can also be sold online, provided that this does not include any “instant win” games, which would also be considered interactive. But for poker, pokies, table games, or anything else you might expect to find in a casino, online play is not permitted – meaning that the only groups offering such games are based overseas.

As we mentioned earlier, these operators are undeniably breaking the laws set up in the IGA when they offer such games. However, with the Australian Government showing little ability to prevent them from taking bets from players here, and with no laws targeting the players themselves, most operators see the country as a “grey market.” That means that while they understand that they are not able to gain a license to operate here, they also feel as though there’s no real risk in offering real money play. While some big name public companies may not enter the Australian market for regulatory reasons, there are still a wide variety of highly respected firms that are active in the country, giving gamblers plenty of solid options should they choose to play online.

Possible Expansion, Online Review Among Major Questions

For the most part, the gaming market in Western Australia appears to be pretty stable. That’s not to say that there aren’t questions out there, but for the most part, we expect the land-based industry in the state to look very similar to its current makeup for the next few years, at least.

Nationally, there have been calls to crackdown on the greyhound racing industry after reports of serious abuses in the handling, treatment, and euthanizing of dogs. But while NSW and the ACT have said they will ban the entire practice of racing these animals as a result, most other states seem to be taking a calmer approach, usually saying that these problems are not present in their local industries.

That seems to be the case here. WA Greyhound Racing Association chief executive David Hobbs came out soon after the bans in other regions saying that the state’s version of the racing community was quite clean and had much better oversight than in some other markets. He credited the smaller nature of the community here, making it much easier to manage than in, say, NSW, where there were far more tracks and training centres spread across the state.

There has also been talk of a potential relaxation of the rules on pokies in the state, as the racing industry and TAB locations have been asking for such expansion. But officials appeared to rule that out recently, though Racing and Gaming Minister Colin Holt did suggest that lesser concessions – such as keno and virtual horseracing games – could be a possibility for those venues.

There is also the national question of the future of the online gambling industry. After the release of a review headed by former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell, it became clear that the government had plans to make some significant changes, both to the regulated side of the picture and in how they deal with offshore firms that target Australians.

One of the big decisions made about regulated bookies is a continuation of the ban on in-play betting over the Internet – including the closure of loopholes that had allowed some operators to mostly circumvent this rule. The move with the biggest impact, however, will likely be directed at offshore sites. The Government says they will attempt to disrupt the ability of these sites to target the nation, doing everything from working with the financial sector to block payments to asking ISPs to block direct access to sites deemed to be operating illegally.

The result of this could be a reduction in the number of foreign sites Australians can access, operations that currently take in up to $400 million from gamblers in this country. However, it should be cautioned that similar efforts in other countries have only proven partially successful, and almost inevitably, many sites remain available no matter how hard governments work to restrict access to them. With that in mind, we don’t expect any dramatic change in how Australian gamblers will be able to place their bets – but it is still definitely worth watching over the months to come, as many of the details of how the industry works could easily change in the near future.

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