The Interactive Gambling Act that the Australian government passed in 2001 is so out of date that if you visit the Commonwealth’s website to find any new information you would do so in vain since there has been little updated or even monitored for over a decade despite rising problems with gambling throughout the country. Additionally, we think despite media reports conjuring up recently that claim the industry will forgo some changes this will not outlaw gambling in Australia or penalize those who took part in the past. We also do not think new developments will lead to amended taxation laws. This would be far too complicated for the government to handle, and would take away from a pastime that many Aussies enjoy. Nevertheless, regardless of what may come lets take a look at AU’s history in regards to regulation and whether online casino players, sports betters or overall Internet gamblers need to pay taxes on their earnings, and how it relates to you now.
Do I Report Earnings from Gambling?
The short answer is no, and here is why. The act passed in 2001 came about as major online casino hubs such as Royal Vegas began emerging in the market. At the time Australia did construct regulations domestically dictating how locals could partake in these hubs aside from stating that AU-based platforms were not allowed. While this was done for ethical concerns domestically, there were major loopholes that left the door wide open for Aussie citizens to exercise Internet freedom with platforms abroad. This meant that if a casino accepted players online from Australia despite it being based in a place such as the UK then Aussies had nothing to worry about.
The logic was that the government couldn’t stop people from gambling while on holiday if they are abroad in a place like Las Vegas, and that as long as citizens obeyed by the country’s local laws then this was considered legit. Australia wanted to allow its citizens to make their own decisions but stated that while the nation did not support such platform developments from Aussies for Aussies, locals could nevertheless enjoy these hubs in accordance with international regulation and laws.
Since then throughout 2015 and counting gamblers have made use of dozens of sports betting platforms and online casinos that allow them to make real money wagers and collect earnings that can be deposited automatically into a bank account. So here is where it becomes even more of a concern – Do these earnings count as money laundering from abroad or as earnings from work?
Again, the answer is no. You are safe. There are a few more reasons worth mentioning. The government has not outlined rules nor has created laws that state Aussies need to pay for earnings based on luck from abroad. To use the logic of traveling abroad again, imagine you went to Las Vegas and won $1,000 at The Venetian. Upon returning to Australia would you need to report those earnings? The answer is no and the only thing you would be responsible for is paying local fees that the casino or in this case the state of Nevada would collect.
But lets examine this even more. International casino hubs have also found loopholes. Despite being UK or US founded, many of these online platforms register in tax-exempt areas or in areas with lower tax brackets that state earning from the casino need to be collected and not from the player. This means the Aussie player is disconnected from having to report anything with the casino or with the local government. Aussies also are not obliged to pay any taxes to that country hosting the casino unless they happen to reside there.
It is a bit tricky but when it is all said and done you are safe. There has been no one arrested for playing online casino games for money on platforms such as Royal Vegas and we do not see this changing in the future.