Australian Government Prohibits E-Sports Betting And Gambling
(Last Updated On: August 9, 2016)

Following the rise and fall of e-sports gambling within the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community, some of the gambling operators have attempted to go legit. This includes attempting to get licenses and influence from actual gambling sanctions in various regions to allow for safe, legal betting on skins and other items for games like Counter-Strike. Well, when the Australian government was approached about it, they quickly shot it down.

New Zealand’s Telkom Gaming did a quick write-up on the news based on an even briefer report by ABC News (the Australian version). After being approached by some in order to legalize video game gambling in Australia, Consumer and Business Affairs Minister John Rau shot down the idea, stating…

“Children are particularly vulnerable to the attraction of gambling on sporting contests conducted on the platform of video games,”


“The Government is determined to keep our children cyber-safe. We do not want them to be introduced to gambling under the guise of a game.”

It’s the “think of the children response”.

However, they can’t be blamed for taking this approach because that’s literally what some YouTubers were doing with the promotion of illegal gambling services for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The YouTubers who ran or had some sort of business affiliation with the gambling outlets were promoting the the services through their YouTube and Twitch channels where majority of their audience happened to be young gamers.

Soliciting gambling services to underage persons is illegal in most states (and countries), so as you can imagine certain YouTubers came under foul and fire from lawyers and federal commissions alike.

Given Australia’s strict rules and regulations on gaming in the region, it’s completely unsurprising that they would prohibit legal gambling rings within the region for betting on e-sports and gaming competitions.

For now, various legal and government agencies have been looking into the gambling rings surrounding Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Valve has also begun cracking down on gambling rings using the OpenID API, advising these outlets to cease and desist their operations.

(Main image courtesy of Skyline)

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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • giygas

    Now if only governments would extend gambling regulations to cover RNG microtransactions.

  • Hawk Hopper

    “The Government is determined to keep our children cyber-safe.”
    “The Government”

    Isn’t there a scandal going on in Australia about kids being tortured in juvenile prisons?

    • LurkerJK

      at least they are not cyber-tortured

  • Alistair

    Finally a Sane unbias Non-SJW Site that dont believe SJWs is to blame for censorship and i have my share believe me being called paranoia.

    especially when he/She as for proof and saying there zero proof that SJWs has effect on censorship. Proves 1 thing white knighting hard.

    So this article will be no use to them whats so ever.

    Our gambling laws are strict you need to be 18 and over but again apple does have in-app purchases that youngers could spend loads of money on Pay to win F2P games.

  • I remember reading about some Australian politician who wanted Tamagotchi to be R-18 because the slot machine in it would cause the children to become the gamblers of tomorrow.

    In other words, it’s all speculation. Which is not an admissible form of evidence.

    • Definitely speculation, but it is based on real-world evidence that occurred recently with CS: GO. Some parents who found out that the YouTubers had lured their kids to the gambling sites to spend their money on betting have started working with lawyers on a class-action lawsuit against them.

      We don’t have any hard figures on how much kids have spent on e-sports betting, gambling and skins, but Bloomberg puts the total figure at around $2.3 billion. Now usually I’m against the parents in these cases, but if a kid asks for money in their Steam Wallet to buy CS:GO skins there’s no way the parent could know that that money is being spent on betting/gambling.

      • TBill

        I have not gotten an answer any time I have asked on other places so maybe I can get an opinion here. Why are baseball cards or MTG card packs not considered to be gambling? Imposed rarity by the manufacturer with value driven solely by what other people are willing to pay. Is not accepted as currency can be sold for currency. As a kid, I used to “bet” all the time with my baseball cards against other kids and won more than my fair share. The cards I have held on to are currently “worth” several thousand dollars. So, is this any different than the CS:GO gambling sites?

        • Absolutely no different than any other form of gambling.

          Microtransactions with “mystery” loot boxes where you may or may not receive a high value item? Gambling.

          In-ap purchases with random gifts or rewards for your character to unlock that require spending real money? Gambling.

          Baseball or Pokemon cards where you spend real money to possibly earn the card you want? Gambling.

          This isn’t even my interpretation of gambling. According to the law here in the U.S., this is how they define it…

          “Whoever sets up, promotes or plays at any game of chance by lot or with
          dice, cards, numbers, hazards or any other gambling device whatever
          for, or for the disposal of money or other thing of value or under the
          pretext of a sale, gift or delivery thereof, or for any right, share or
          interest therein, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second

  • C G Saturation

    Children gamble?

    • Michael P

      Some kids have easy access to their parents debit/credit cards/paypal, the amount of kids that have emptied cards on gaming proves how fucking stupid some parents are. It’s not a big stretch to see some using them for e-sports gambling.

      OT: Normally I’m pro-Darwin but we’ve already got enough gambling problems here as it is so I’m not particularly bothered that it’s been banned.

      • C G Saturation

        Yeah, I heard they blow money on transactions, but I haven’t really heard of kids doing stuff like betting or playing gambling games. That doesn’t mean it’s not happening, of course.

        • Michael P

          Teens are apparently getting into it (if the news is to be believed), whether it’s in significant numbers or not is anyone’s guess at this point. Not sure if I’m missing something (I don’t gamble) but 2 Australian betting sites (ladbrokes and sportsbet) are still taking esports bets so the government obviously isn’t paying too much attention.

          Believe me, I’m finding it kinda unbelievable too but we live in the internet age, the shit kids have easy access to now has changed since we were young.