The Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) was introduced in Australia in 2001, making it illegal for online gambling operators to offer real money online interactive gambling platforms to Australian residents or even to advertise these services to Australians.
This law is intended to protect Australian residents from any adverse effects of online gambling and while Australians can still access some online gambling sites, it makes things a little more complicated than for gamblers who live elsewhere.
Before the introduction of the IGA, online gambling was legal for Australian residents. In reality, the Act has done little to stop Australian residents accessing online gambling websites from other countries. This means that all the tax revenue from these transactions is being passed on to governments in other countries.
If a bill was passed to legalise online gambling in Australia but limited the gambling to domains registered within Australia (.au domains), the Australian government would be able to regulate and monitor the gambling figures while at the same time receiving a healthy slice of the pie by taxing the total revenue.
Legalising gambling in Australia has huge appeal to the Australian government. With the tax money alone they could feed 40,000 adults in need every year, house half the homeless population in Australia or subsidise at least 10,290 university degrees.
Have a look here to see the difference legalising online gambling in Australia could make.