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Online Gambling is the Most Recent Aspect in the History of Gambling in Australia

The history of gambling goes back to the earliest record of human existence. Gambling has been a major activity throughout the world for thousands of years.  People have bet on the outcomes of horse races, chariot races and camel races; dog fights and cock fights; the roll of dice and the spin of a top.  Playing cards appeared in Europe about 700 years ago but the present 52-card deck is of more recent origin.  Cards are thought to have first been used in games in China.  The royal cards common to modern decks were introduced in Italy. 

Gambling has Contributed to Many Fateful Decisions

Gambling has been prominent in determining life decisions. The history of gambling goes as far back as The Jewish Bible which shows that ancient Jews were known to draw lots as a significant method of decision-making.   Taking chances has been a major element in the culture of business.  Adventurers were also considered to be gamblers.

Today’s Gamblers will Gamble on almost Anything

Today, gambling is usually associated with casinos, racetracks, or state-run lotteries.  Many friendly gambling games, mainly poker, take place in private homes.  Still in all, there are still illegal forms of gambling and even some illegal gambling dens.  Gamblers wager on what have become classic casino games such as poker, blackjack, roulette, and craps.  Variations of these games were developed to enhance gambling excitement and are prevalent, especially online.  Gamblers also bet on political races, sporting events, and lotteries.

The History of Gambling in Australia

In Australia, gambling about life’s decisions was always considered a normal part of life.  The story of James Morrill is a simple case in point.  When the ship he was on foundered at sea in a storm, he and the few other survivors drew lots to determine who would risk his life in search of food and help.

Australian novelist Frank Hardy wrote about early white Australians gambling on life itself.  The convicts and later settlers knew little about the dangers of the vast interior of the continent.  Those who ventured inland were said to be gambling with their lives.  For those early settlers, life was so harsh that the gamble was considered a preferable alternative to the lives they could lead in a settlement.   The spirit of the Australian gold rushes was also the spirit of the gambler who knew that the dangers far outweighed the chances for riches but went out in search of gold riches nonetheless.  The modern Australian culture of walkabout derives directly from the gambling spirit of those early settlers who sought more challenges than they could find in the settlements.

Casino gambling in Australia goes back to the 19th century.  It was once the purview only of the wealthy who played baccarat legally.  The average Australian was prohibited by Parliament from indulging in any gambling including lotteries. Nevertheless, illegal gambling halls sprang up in the late 19th century.

Many Gamblers See Gambling as a Form of Entertainment

The notion that a life-changing win can be had through gambling is prevalent in modern societies throughout the world.  The lure of millions of dollars in lottery winnings spurs people on to gamble their hard-earned money.   But gambling in the modern world has also become another form of entertainment.  This need has been met by casinos.

Casino Gambling in Australia

Casino gambling in Australia is neither legal nor illegal!  The law prohibits Australian companies from offering online gambling to Australians.  It does not prohibit Australians from gambling online.  Thus, online casinos owned and operated from outside Australia may offer gambling to Australians who are legally free to partake of the activity

Today there are many land-based casinos in Australia.  The Aussie game of choice continues to be pokies, aka slot machines in the rest of the world.  Where gambling was once considered primarily a pastime of the lower classes, today it is a major industry in the Australian economy, employing more than 75,000 people. 

Online Gambling is Still in its Infancy

The history of online gambling goes back only to the 1990’s.  Since then, online gambling has become far more pervasive than land-based casinos.  There are hundreds of online casinos that accept Australian players and most accept the Aussie dollar.  Online gambling has tried to change the image of gambling by calling itself gaming.  It offers gamers an accessible way to play hundreds of games without the need to travel, pack a suitcase, and pay for lodging and restaurants.  An ironic aspect of online gambling is that it tends to both exacerbate and ameliorate problem gambling.  Gamblers who travel to a land-based casino look at their investment in a weekend of gambling and feel that they must get the most out of their investment so they gamble more.  Those who stay at home in this scenario gamble less.  However, the easy accessibility of online gambling makes it far too easy for some gamblers to lose control their gambling urges.  For them, problem gambling is truly problematic.

Regulation of Online Gambling in Australia

The history of online gambling in Australia can be dated to 3 May 1996 when Australian Gaming and Racing Authorities agreed upon a regulatory model by which online gambling is regulated today.  The regulatory model sought to protect the public in a number of ways:

  • Every online casino must prove to the satisfaction of the regulatory commission that it is financially sound and can pay out winnings. 
  • Every casino must require sufficient player documentation so that minors are prevented from gambling.
  • Every online casino must submit to periodic checks by outside, independent authorities who certify the fairness of the casino’s games.
  • Players must gamble with money deposited.  Credit gambling is strictly prohibited.
  • Online casinos may not advertise unlicensed products.
  • Casinos must make available to players self-disciplinary safeguards such as maximum betting allowances.
  • Online casinos must dedicate themselves to helping compulsive gamblers deal with their problem.
  • Casinos must guarantee the privacy of all information given by players and must be fully encrypted to protect players from computer hackers and other cyber thieves.
  • Casinos must create and submit to an industry-accepted code of conduct.

Aussie Gamers are Popular

Today there are hundreds of online casinos that cater to Australian players.  These casinos accept deposits in Australian dollars.  They do their utmost to provide convenient banking methods for Australians.  Some banking methods are:

  • Credit and debit cards.  Depositing with these cards is fast but many gamblers don’t like to use their cards for gambling.
  • Electronic cheques (e-cheques).  These cheques clear much faster than regular cheques.
  • Electronic wallets (e-wallets).  There is a well-developed e-wallet industry for receiving and paying for every product sold online.  The most famous e-wallet are PayPal,  Skrill, and Neteller.
  • Bank transfers allow gamblers to transfer money directly to and from their private bank account.
  • A very large number of Australian gamblers prefer POLI. 

Online Games

Online casinos offer hundreds of games.  Some are powered by a single game developer; others provide games from a number of developers.  All the traditional casino games are available online.  Video poker has become popular in the last twenty years.  This is usually a form of five-card draw poker.  It lends itself to much variation.  Some online casinos have 50 or more video poker games.

Pokies are still the most popular form of gambling online by Australians.  Traditional pokies used dry symbols.  They didn’t tell a story but Australians loved them nonetheless.  Modern pokies tell a story, have three-dimensional characters, have lucrative bonus rounds, and have state-of-the-art graphics and animation.

Australians Have Always Gambled; Online Casinos Provide a Much-desired Service

The history of gambling in Australia has gone from a period when gambling was considered a vital aspect of life to today, when gambling is a major form of entertainment.