The History of Online Casinos in Australia

Online casinos welcome many Aussies every day. It is a trend enabled by the pandemic and other factors that offer convenience. In fact, by 2022, about 32% of Australian adults have played a game at an iGaming site. This wasn’t just an overnight sensation, though. There’s a whole exciting backstory to this trend.

9 Years

Playing Experience
Ethan Kelly, Online Casino Reviewer
Ethan Kelly

Online Casino Reviewer

For me, gambling began as a pastime but swiftly developed into a passion that has taken me to some great places. To help select the best online casinos, our team presents expert and analytical reviews of the best sites in the business.

The Early Beginnings 

Gambling’s journey in Australia started in 1810 with eye-catching horse racing, marking the first time Aussies could place bets. This quickly became a favorite activity. By 1920, lotteries joined the mix, offering another exciting betting option. The gambling scene really spiced up in 1956 when slot machines, fondly called “pokies,” were legalized.

A major turning point was in 1973, with the opening of Wrest Point Hotel Casino in Tasmania, Australia’s first-ever gaming hub. This event triggered a massive surge in the popularity of pokies. Throughout the 1960s and beyond, pokies grew to be a beloved form of entertainment in the Land Down Under.

How the Internet Reshaped Gambling

The internet revolutionised gambling in Aussieland with the rise of internet-based platforms in the late ’90s. This shift prompted the government to introduce the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001, ensuring safe and fair internet gaming. The first government-licensed virtual casino, Lasseters, set the stage in 1999, marking a new era in iGaming.

Since then, web-based gaming has rapidly evolved. The early 2000s saw the first digital site  emerge, followed by the introduction of live dealer games by the mid-2000s. The trend continued to grow into the late 2010s with the rise of mobile gambling and sports betting, offering players more convenience and choices.

During this transformation, Aussies have enjoyed a wide variety of casino bonuses. Online casino rankings have also played a crucial role, guiding players to top-quality sites. These advancements have significantly shaped Australia’s iGaming scene.

Current iGaming Landscape In Australia

In the 2020s, the landscape of internet-based sites in Aussieland presents a dynamic and evolving picture. This era has seen significant trends in internet-based gaming, with online pokies in Australia gaining tremendous popularity. These games, with their diverse themes and engaging gameplay, have become a staple in the online gaming community.

It’s a real mix when it comes to the demography of the players. Most of them, about 54%, are men, and 46% are women between the ages of 26 and 35. This shows that online gambling attracts a really varied group of people.

Here’s a table comparing the features of land-based casinos and how digital sites have improved on them:

Land-Based Casino FeatureOnline Casino Improvement
Limited Game VarietyExtensive Game Selection
Physical Presence NeededPlay Anywhere, Anytime
Set Opening Hours24/7 Availability
Fixed Betting LimitsFlexible Betting Options
Manual Cash TransactionsQuick Digital Payments
In-Person SocializingDigital Community & Chat


iGaming in Down Under has taken off, growing fast thanks to better tech, a wide variety of games, and the convenience of playing anywhere. Looking ahead, we can expect even more growth with new tech developments and trends shaping the future of online gaming.