Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Gambling in the ACT — What’s Legal, What Isn’t and Who’s in Charge

Who’s in Charge

The ACT Gambling and Racing Commission regulates and approves gaming and racing activities in the ACT (Australian Capital Territory). They also collect taxes and fees according to gaming laws; monitor and research the social effects of gambling (including problem gambling); promote consumer protection and provide education and counselling.

Originally, online gaming was regulated in the Australian Capital Territory according to the territory’s 1998 Interactive Gambling Act; but in 2001, the Commonwealth Government brought in their Interactive Gambling Act. Given that Commonwealth laws override state and territory laws, the ACT no longer regulates online gaming.

The Australian Capital Territory does, however, license and regulate the activities of racing and sports bookmakers.

What’s Legal

Many activities like chess, board games and trivia nights are fine and can be enjoyed anywhere as long as there is no betting involved. Even tournaments are within the law as long as there are no stakes and they do not feature games officilaly declared “unlawful” (see next section below); prizes and entry fees for tournaments are permitted.

Charitable organisations can have gaming nights to raise money for their causes, but they must submit an application, pay a fee and approval is subject to certain conditions.

What Isn’t

A number of games have been declared unlawful; these games can only be played in a person’s home or at a casino. The list of unlawful games includes: poker, Sic Bo, craps, roulette, blackjack and baccarat — variants also.

So even though tournaments are permitted, poker tournaments are not as poker is on the unlawful games list. Click here for the full list of games declared unlawful in the ACT.

Problem Gambling

The ACT Gambling Counselling and Support Service provides free telephone, online and face-to-face counselling for people experiencing gambling problems. Free support and counselling is also available for family members.

For more details and to confirm that the information given above is still current, please consult the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission website.