Gambling Tax Compared Across Asia and Australia

Gambling is taxed differently around the world. Some countries tax the players as well as the operators, whereas some only target the operators. Some are also more lenient on taxes levied to online casinos, which is why these countries are considered tax havens.

However, in other countries, gambling is completely illegal. This article examines the law in Australia and in some Asian countries.


Since Australian law and culture is derived largely from Great Britain, it’s no surprise that their approach to their gambling tax is similar as well. Just like the UK, the Australian government will never tax the players when gambling.

This is because the Australian government doesn’t consider gambling to be a profession. Instead, they view gambling wins as a stroke of good luck. For every big win, you are just as likely to get a big loss. Under Australian law, the act of gambling is treated quite similarly to a recreational activity or a hobby.

So how does the Australian government earn any money from the gambling industry? The answer is quite simple. Instead of taxing the players themselves, they tax the casino operators. Since Australia uses a federal system of government, the individual Australian states are free to vary their laws on gambling.

As a tourist in Australia, you don’t really have much to worry about. You don’t need to pay any tax on any kind of gambling activity and you don’t need to report any of your winnings to the government in Australia. While gambling in Australia, you can effectively treat it as being just like living in the UK.


In the UK, gambling was once banned and the only gambling that was done was on the black market. In the 1960s, that changed and gambling was legalised and taxed.
In China, gambling is almost completely illegal. Residents in China are permitted to enter the state-run lottery contest and that’s all. As a result, the vast majority of the betting that goes on in China is completely untaxed by the government.

If you are caught operating a gambling ring in China, you might find yourself subject to a hefty fine. You might also find yourself in prison.
If you are visiting China, you should not get involved with any kind of gambling. In the UK, you can gamble completely tax-free without risking any criminal charges, so it’s best not to risk gambling illegally in another country.


Just like in China, Taiwan has strict laws surrounding gambling. There is a state-run lottery and any other kind of gambling is considered unlawful. Since the majority of gambling that goes on in Taiwan is illegal, it’s impossible for any taxes to be taken.

Many Taiwanese citizens play on illegal gambling websites. These sites are difficult for the Taiwanese government to shut down because they are incredibly mobile. You could shut down a website in the morning and there could be a replacement site up in the same afternoon.

Again, if you are paying Taiwan a visit, don’t get involved with the local illegal gambling. It’s not worth the risk of being fined or getting in trouble with the law.


Thailand is another Asian country in which most forms of gambling are illegal. Like in China and Taiwan, you are free to bet on the state-run lottery.

In Thailand, it is also possible to bet on horse racing while still being within the law. All other forms of gambling are illegal, but there is a lot of black market gambling. Despite the ban, gambling is a large part of Thai culture.

Why is gambling illegal in a lot of Asia?

There are a number of reasons why gambling is illegal in many parts of Asia. Buddhism is one of the biggest religions in the region, and Buddhists consider gambling to be one of the four vices that will lead to ruination. Gambling is considered to be something that needs to be avoided if you want to be free from suffering.

Another reason why gambling is often illegal in Asia is because many Asian countries are less prepared to consider gambling addiction to be a health issue. This means there are fewer options available for problem gamblers to get help and therefore, gambling causes more societal issues.

Don’t risk illegal gambling

If you are taking a holiday to Australia, you are free to gamble as you see fit. The laws are largely the same to the UK’s, and you won’t need to pay any tax as a player.

On the other hand, if you are travelling to Asia, you should not get involved in any illegal gambling. Instead, hold off until you are safely in a country that allows betting so you avoid any legal trouble.

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