Australia bans online poker

Australian poker players will no longer have any legal online rooms to play on from next month after a dark day for the game down under.

australia poker flag

Last week the Australian Senate voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016, effectively meaning legal online poker is banned in the country next month.

The Bill makes it illegal for overseas gambling operators to offer gaming unless they hold a license. Huge fines would be imposed for anyone not complying with this law, with the Sydney Morning Herald speculating it could be almost $7 million a day for operators. 

PokerStars, 888poker, partypoker, 32Red and the Gaming Innovation Group are among the operators who have left or are in the process of leaving the Australian market, which serves an estimated 130,000 poker players. PokerStars emailed their Australian players last week to say they would be leaving the market 'mid-September'.

This is not a surprise to most Australian poker players, who have been expecting this verdict for a while now. In March this year Liberal Sentator David Leyonhjelm was so outraged at the Bill that he urged Australians to play poker using a VPN in protest.

Are you an Australian poker player affected by this Bill? Share your thoughts in the comments below:

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Comments (4)

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  • Lazza61

    #1

    As an Aussie, I am totally aghast. We lose the reputable, trustworthy sites and are left with the less reliable operators.

    Aussies are already being invited to play at some of those sites that are well known for targetting black markets
  • JohnTheGreatest

    #2

    :(
  • IronPumper

    #3

    Real bad new and feel with all Aussies - make one really upset to realize how uncivilized and primitive our species still is, in terms of freedom for the individual.
  • Lazza61

    #4

    The fight goes on. We still have the "Participation of Australians in online poker" Senate inquiry due to report on September 14th.

    The general consensus is that we are doing well (judging on the 2 public hearings), so we are very optimistic about receiving favourable recommendations.