Online Poker Machine Regulation Explained
Online poker machines are huge business in Australia. With around 80% of Australians gambling online in one form or other, it's not surprising that the mainstay of Australian bars and casinos are just as popular online. While most are happy to find their favourite games and plunge into the play, some have questions about how they can make sure they're getting a fair game. What regulations exist when it comes to online pokies though?
Who Regulates Games?
Online casinos in Australia are governed at a federal level by the Internet Gambling Act (2001), which governs how businesses advertise their online gambling services while restricting some forms of gambling such as in-play sports betting. State regulations do come into play, with concerns around problem gambling always at the front of responsible gambling lobbies, but online pokie players are generally given a wide choice of games to play, all of which are regulated responsibly. For those who want to check the applicable state regulations, here is a list of the organisations involved and the regions they cover:
- ACT Gambling and Racing Commission - Australian Capital Territory
- Licensing Commission - Northern Territory
- Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing - New South Wales
- Independent Gambling Authority - South Australia
- Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation - Queensland
- Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation - Victoria
- Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor - Western Australia
- Tasmanian Gaming Commission - Tasmania
Security And Online Casinos
Security is something which players understandably want and online gambling companies provide in abundance. The existence of eCOGRA and TST keep online casinos in check, monitoring online random number generators (RNGs) to ensure wagering is safe and fair.
TST looks to ensure that the results are random and distributed in line with the RTP (Return to Player) percentage, leaving players feeling safe in the knowledge that the game pays out as it should.
Similarly, eCOGRA was established in 2003 to protect player interests, fair gambling and responsible conduct by online operators. Those who pass their requirements and become accredited sites display their Play It Safe seal of approval, and with trust a major criteria for new players seeking out sites, it shouldn't be surprising to know that major players such as 888 Casino and Spin Palace have secured their seals.
With the requirements of both TST and eCOGRA looking at the continued fairness of online games, the question of player safety should be beyond doubt. Of course players will occasionally look to blame their bad luck on an unfair site, but with so much money to be made by online pokie operators, it simply doesn't make sense for them to risk their reputation and subsequently revenues. Any of those who need reassurance can look through a simple checklist of requirements for an online casino offering pokie machines.
Jurisdictions And Player Protection
Firstly, before an online operator can open its virtual doors, they have to be approved for a relevant gambling license from one of the many jurisdictions that offer them. Gibraltar, Malta and Alderney are just three of the jurisdictions which look to protect players through regulation and fairness for players.
Once a player signs up to a site, their data is then looked after with the same level of encryption used in banking, implement state-of-the-art 128-bit digital encryption technology. Your data is stored in a way that makes it secure and inaccessible by third parties, leaving you to enjoy your online pokie play!
The existence of regulations, bodies to enforce them and the technologies used by operators themselves should give every online pokie player the confidence to find their favourite game and invest their well-earned dollars. Enjoy your gaming - and remember that ultimately you're playing in a safe and trustworthy environment!