It might be new territory that Kruzey is stepping into here, but in reality the online casino Australia industry has been around for a very long time.
The online equivalent has come into its own over the last few years, with better technology, a wider user base to draw upon, lush game play, a wide variety of games, and the introduction of crypto currency.
This is our first real look at the casino industry, as we move to diversify into other online gambling markets other than horse racing and global sports.
In 2020, there are many online casinos out there on the Net. Literally thousands. You do have to be wary about signing up to any of them.
Study up with the help of casino review sites. There are some good ones (a few listed below), all ready to help you select the right online casino.
The reviewers of these review sites are able to draw upon years of experience, and will be able to weed out the good casino sites versus the not-so-good.
Get to know the terminology used within the casino industry, understand the methods, rules and limits which will differ from one casino to another.
Understand the regulatory requirements if you are signing in from another country. You’ll become an expert in no time at all.
What about Australia?
Australia has strict conditions around the casino industry within its borders, many of which have been legislated against due to the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act which was passed into law, as well as a 2017 amendment to the existing legislation.
Online Casinos prohibited in Australia
Mostly, this legislation prevents Australian gaming operators from building interactive gambling products (which includes online casino products).
However, there are exceptions including licenced online Sports Betting Agencies (your Bet 365’s, Ladbrokes etc) and the National Lottery (OzLotto).
Australian Online Players
Individual players themselves are not targeted by the Government or by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), as they consider sports betting and casino gambling as ‘games of chance’, so there is no tax implication to worry about from a personal viewpoint.
Though online casino operations are banned in Australia, it won’t stop Australian players from venturing offshore to search for an online casino to join up with.
If undertaking such a venture, ensure you at least sign up with a reputable entity that is regulated by a trusted gaming authority. More on that further on in this article.
Players are protected by online Casinos being subject to a license issuance, and also very regular audits of their operations.
A clean bill of health also means reassurance to prospective sign-up’s. But, as mentioned earlier, do your homework.
Australia has its own physical Casinos in every state, the best known being the Crown Casino in Melbourne.
Casino visitors and regulars therefore have access to these venues in a physical sense. It’s just the online variants that are illegal.
The current global trend
In other parts of the world, online casinos are a thriving economy, and are not bound by regulatory issues to the degree that Australia and the USA are.
Impact of Corona Virus
This economy is gaining recent traction thanks in part to the downturn in the sports betting industry, which has been crippled by the worldwide events of the Corona-Virus.
Top global competitions have been postponed indefinitely, meaning there is no betting activity occurring. This is costing the sports betting industry billions in lost opportunity, hence lost revenue.
So players are looking at e-sports and online casinos as an alternative.
However, the Casino industry is not getting away scot free. Top physical Casinos in hot spots like Macau, mainland China, South East Asia, Las Vegas, Atlantic City and elsewhere are subject to the same border protections for Corona Virus as many other countries.
This means that tourists can’t get in, casino visitor numbers are down, and revenue is leaking in huge numbers.
At least with an online casino, you can turn up to play in only your pyjamas, dressing gown and slippers!
Online Casinos – what do I need to know?
Trying to find a decent one to join up with becomes part of the journey. It’s no different than trying to find a decent online betting agency in Australia (Kruzey can you help you with that, read all of our referral reviews on this site), or finding a decent Android or iOS app for your mobile phone. Don’t think it’s an onerous or a scary task, because it isn’t.
Catering for the Aussies
Some offshore online casinos cater for Australian circumstances, like deposits and withdrawals in Australian Dollars, but do double-check, because not all casinos are Australian friendly.
If you want to keep your playing activity away from local bank accounts, then platforms such as PayPal, Skrill, Neteller or even Bitcoin are acceptable, if you have an account set up with one of those.
Identities and VPN’s
Casinos are vigilant with identity theft or even obfuscation through IP Address tracking and usage against your account, so using a VPN like Express VPN to change identities and country logins could be counter productive. Be mindful of this if identity is an issue for you.
It might take some time to eventually settle on an online casino, and during the course of your journey, you might graduate to another casino, much like swapping over your electricity and gas bill to another supplier or your mortgage to another cheaper money lender.
Casino Types and Product Types
There are two main types of online casinos to be aware of:
those that you play socially (say on Facebook), just for fun, that have limited financial implications, meaning you play for free virtually.
These platforms are similar to some high-end games you can download from the Android or Apple Playstores
those platforms where you play for real cash, and for bigger stakes. it is this latter category we’ll look at.
Also, there are three types of products that typically make up the gaming world:
- Instant play – games which are played directly on the casino’s website.
- Downloadable – games which are downloadable to a computer.
- Mobile – games which are downloadable to a mobile phone or tablet, and can be played on the go via a SIM/data plan.
Criteria to look for
A good selection of games, whether they be board/table games, slot machines etc is always a good thing, but it’s mostly about the players online experience and reassurance about peripheral things like financials and site security and welfare that will ensure return visits. Let’s look at the main criteria that you should be considering:
Casino License & Regulations
A reputable online casino should be licensed and regulated by a trusted gaming authority. The following is a list Gaming Authorities, Commissions and Boards with good experience and reputation.
Nevada Gaming Control Board
Founded in 2011, the NGCB is the newest regulatory body in the global iGaming industry. It keeps a very tight lid on affairs, considering the US gaming industry is very strict and heavily regulated. Only a few states are permitted for online gaming. You have to be living in Nevada to be allowed to join an online casino – that is also based in Nevada. Nowhere else.
New Jersey Division Of Gaming Enforcement
Formed in 1977, the NJDGE was the regulatory body for physical casinos (like Atlantic City), but eventually bought in online casinos under its watch as well. Much like Nevada, State residents in New Jersey are able to join up to an online casino, but it has to be operating out of New Jersey only. How they police this I’m damned if I know!
Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
The Malta Gaming Authority was formed in 2001 and has forged an A+ reputation in the iGaming industry. Malta has lower tax rates making it an ideal location for gaming operators to set up shop from elsewhere around Europe and the U.K. Currently, over 500 Gaming companies have done just that.
United Kingdom Gaming Commission
The U.K was one of the first gaming authorities to regulate and license online/remote gaming sites. Partly due to higher tax rates, many gaming operators do not register in the U.K anymore, preferring to go to Europe or to the Isle Of Man instead, where it is cheaper to set up.
Isle Of Man Gambling Supervision Commission
The Isle Of Man, the small island nation nestled between mainland Britain and Ireland is a tax haven, much like Malta. Gaming operators have set up on the island, knowing that they’ll get a fair tax break, while the Gambling Supervision Commission keeps a tight lid on things, making it a safe bet for prospective online players.
First Impressions: Website/Homepage
Like any website project design, the main website home page will need to strike a chord with the prospective player from the get-go.
The online casino will need to have all bases covered, including site navigation, easy access to the most important parts of the site, whether it be through a top menu, a side bar, an easy to use search system, and that the site renders responsively and correctly whether you’re on a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. There should be no more than a handful of clicks to get you to where you need to go. As they say, first impressions always counts for a lot.
Safety & Security
When choosing a casino to sign up with, there should be an emphasis placed on safety and security for the player. Here’s a check list:
- Operating licenses and compliance with local regulatory conditions should be in place and clearly indicated.
- Your personal details should be kept confidential. At no stage should a casino be selling your personal details to a third party. If they indicate that they do, then you need to look elsewhere.
- Payouts to players are to be processed in accordance to the payback percentage as published in their T&C’s on their website.
- The processing of deposits and withdrawals should be managed in a secure and professional manner; thereby giving assurance to players regarding financial transactions.
It’s important to know what software the casino uses for its gaming platform. Tech Gaming giants such as Microgaming, RPG, NetEnt and Play Tech should all be represented somewhere along the way.
Players can expect a high degree of technical support from such organisations, but usually this is between the technical teams and the casino itself; not so much the player.
Regardless of your device, games should run perfectly on everything from a full-blown gaming desktop to a small form factor Android mobile phone.
Range Of Games
This criteria is probably an essential one, and is a huge incentive for a player to join up to a particular casino site. Judging the range of games on offer is a personal one. What might be a good experience for one person might not be the same for someone else.
A review site may apply a certain weighting in its overall review/assessment, with the range of games maybe given a higher weighting compared to other criteria.
Be assured though, that every good online casino will have a dizzying compliment of games to play, including all the time honoured classics such as Blackjack, Baccarat, Slots, Keno, Roulette, Video Poker and much more.
Much like any other online Gaming or Betting operation, you’ll need to fund your account at some point. Let’s not forget, you’ll want to withdraw your winnings too. That’s the point of playing at an online casino surely?
Mostly around the world, you should be able to make deposits and withdrawals from/to all major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard) as well as e-wallets, such as PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill.
Other payment options can be used instead, such as crypto currencies like Bitcoin, or BitCoinCash. Usually, every casino will have a list of deposit and withdrawals clearly displayed on their website, so there should be something for everyone.
The other thing to be mindful of is how long it will take to process withdrawals. A 2 to 5 day turnaround would be acceptable, anything beyond a week would be enough to raise eyebrows.
Casino Bonuses & Promotions
In physical casinos, the establishment usually likes to hand out complimentary gifts to visitors.
For online casinos, the gift of giving out complimentaries (also known as comps) is still a regular thing, and these are now offered as casino bonuses instead.
Things like sign-up bonuses, first deposit bonuses, loyalty bonuses and ongoing promotions are all there to be taken advantage of.
Some online casinos offer big incentives to new players, but as mentioned earlier, do your homework, and don’t let your eyes deceive you as to what’s on offer. There may be a catch at the end of the road. Read the fine print carefully.
There are literally thousands of online websites. It is numerically and logistically impossible to select a mere handful and suggest you go dig around with those ones.
However, we have seen a couple that have been referred to across different sites, so those are ones we’ll have a look at for our first exploratory dig.
This is a long established business going back to the dawn of the Internet age, circa 1996, and have branched out from first running a Sportsbook to now including a full-blown online Casino operation.
Every detail available on their website just smacks of professionalism and gives new players the confidence to venture forthwith. Don’t take our word for it, check around for yourself.
- Great sign up and deposit bonuses.
- Wide range of deposit options (excludes PayPal though).
- Many variety of games, including instant play and mobile games.
- Live chat, if you wish to clarify anything with Customer Support.
- And of course, you have access to the Sportsbook side of their business too, if you like betting on horses or on your favourite sport.
Website: click here.
This operation is run out of Malta and is regulated by the MGA (see above). The websites landing page is impressive, and the colour theming of black, purple and blue is alluring.
There is a swathe of pre sign-up information, which is also designed not to swamp you with distractions. There’s a nice right-side vertical menu bar on mobile which provides a nice touch.
A multitude of currencies are supported, but once you sign-on, your name, location and currency become locked in, and cannot be changed for security reasons.
Australian dollars as a currency is supported, so too a multitude of deposit options including PayPal. Worth considering for those reasons alone.
Website: click here.
Despite being one of the older Casino sites out there (circa 1998), these guys still hold a healthy reputation as an online casino of choice for many.
Regulated by Malta’s MGA, new players can gain some reassurance that they are dealing with a well established brand.
Jackpot City accepts new sign-ups from both Australia and New Zealand (refer their Register page), while (strangely) UK and USA sign-ups are not accepted.
The usual haunts for deposit methods are covered (Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, Neteller), but no Paypal. Many businesses and customers do not like dealing with PayPal due to previous bad experiences, high fees and being susceptible to having your account closed without warning.
Website: click here.
This casino has been mentioned a few times on different review sites, and as it’s acceptable to sign up as an Australian player, it duly gets a mention.
Playamo is licensed and regulated out of Curaçao, but has its registered office based in Cyprus. These guys have been around for a few years now, and have built an online operation that ranks right up there in terms of presentation and user interaction.
Their team compromises of experienced casino gamers, but there is a reservation about their operation in relation to Australian players.
- Firstly, some games by certain game developers are not available for Australian players. For example: some NetEnt games.
- Secondly, some games which have jackpots associated with those game developers are therefore not eligible to Australian players.
Bear this mind if you are considering this casino. This is certainly one instance where reading the T&C’s is an absolute must.
Website: click here.
This is a relatively new Australian centric online casino that has made a splash in a short space of time.
The Jokaroom operation is licensed out of Curaçao. They have one of the biggest sign-on incentives going, at $5000 plus 75 free spins. They host over 700 games!
However, the deposits and withdrawals are very spartan, with only Visa, Mastercard and Neosurf available for deposit, while only Visa and bank transfer are available for withdrawals. Sadly, there is no Bitcoin option.
I’m thinking though that Aussies might take to this online casino in droves, and see what all the fuss is about.
Website: click here.
Best Casino News Sites
For this category we will focus on the Australian industry (well, technically there isn’t supposed to be one), but there are developments afoot that impact both at a business and consumer level.
Sun Vegas Casinos – News
Some good stuff here, written by Australians but spanning across the global casino industry. Click here..
More to add..
What does the future hold?
Gaming restrictions in certain countries are going to get left behind sooner rather than later simply because technology is moving ahead in leaps and bounds. Far faster than Governments can keep up with in terms of legislation.
The worst case scenario is in the USA when only certain states are permitted for gambling. So what happens in the case of mobile gambling? That is: a gaming platform on your mobile phone, but let’s say you are only permitted to play in New Jersey only.
So then, what happens if you drive across the state line into Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, or north into New York state, where now you are playing an online mobile casino game illegally.
This is the lunacy of gaming laws in the USA, which are recognised by many in the industry to be a laughing stock.
I’m sure many Governments have looked at other gaming/taxation models around the world to see if they can tap into some revenue generation, all with greedy eyes and greedier fingers, but I think many of them don’t have their finger on the pulse, if the USA example is anything to go by.
Mobile Casinos will be a game changer, and the current regulations mean that the law needs to catch up.
But with Corona Virus threatening to dominate the attention of Governments for months to come, don’t expect any movement on gaming regulation policy to occur anytime soon.