Bingo (aka “housie”) is available across Australia in both the online and real life formats. Brick-and-mortar bingo centres are regulated by state governments while online bingo is subject to the nationwide Interactive Gambling Act of 2001. There are currently no laws that prohibit the play of real money bingo in Australia.
If you fancy a good game of bingo, the internet is certainly a great place to start. There are dozens of bingo websites to choose from and many of them cater to Australians with special promotions and games hosted in AUD.
Note: Most sites do accept Australian dollar deposits but they automatically convert your currency to British pounds or Euros upon depositing. The welcome bonus at each site kicks in after your currency exchange.
Online Bingo Laws in Australia
All forms of online gambling have been regulated in Australia since the passage of the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001. The legislation made it illegal to operate a gaming site from within Australia but it did not prohibit citizens from playing at sites hosted elsewhere. As a result, every major gaming site that accepts Australians is based out of some other country.
Individual states do have the right to offer licenses to online sportsbooks. The catch is that all Australian licenses prohibit sites from offering in-play sports betting and other forms of gaming. That’s why when you visit some sites from Australia, you don’t see bingo, casino games or in-play betting.
The bingo websites recommended in the table above do NOT hold licenses in Australia and are therefore free to offer other forms of gambling. This technically breaks Australian law but the violation is meaningless as those sites operate legally under the laws of their respective jurisdictions and have no physical presence in Australia.
As a bingo player, you are under no obligation to avoid offshore gambling websites. The laws specifically target operators and not individual gamblers. It is not a crime to play online and you face no penalty for doing so.
How to Play for Real Money
After you choose a place to play bingo, the next step is to make a deposit. The lax laws in Australia make it easy to get your money to and from bingo websites. You can make a deposit by logging in to your bingo account, visiting the cashier and choosing a deposit method.
The options vary from site to site, but all sites accept credit and debit cards. This is the easiest method for me as it’s pretty much the same process as paying for something online. You type in your number, choose an amount and get to playing.
There are also other options if you don’t have a card or don’t feel comfortable sharing your information with the site. One option is to sign up for an account with Skrill or Neteller. These are both e-wallets that act as intermediaries between your bank and your bingo account. You can fund your Skrill/Neteller account and then use that account to complete the deposit.
Another handy option is the electronic bank transfer. This method requires a bank account but you don’t need a debit card to complete the transaction. Instead, you type in your banking details and the money is sent straight from your bank to your bingo account.
If things go well and you win some money, you’ll need to initiate a withdrawal at some point. Some sites can credit your credit/debit card with the funds while others send your money back to your via electronic transfer or paper check. In any case, high quality sites should always pay your winnings within a few days plus the time it takes for your paper check to arrive in the mail.
Are Bingo Winnings Taxed?
No. Australia has an awesome tax code for gamblers. No amount of money is subject to any tax whatsoever. The government considers all income from gambling a result of luck and therefore unfitting to be taxed as regular income.