The authorities in Australia made a claim of their first internet poker scalp after an online poker operator was convicted of violating Australia’s gambling laws.
On Monday, Luke Brabin was convicted by the Southport Magistrate of violating the new Interactive Gambling Act (IGA). The law only allows sports betting activities to take place in Australia. Luke Brabin was charged last year in August with offering illegal gambling services. This is the first prosecution of an online poker site in Australia.
Australia Explains the Conviction
Australia is charging Brabin for gambling at pokerasiapacific.com, an online poker website in-between April and August last year. On the 10th of August 2016, Poker Asia Pacific made a statement on their Facebook page that they will be suspending their services until the awaiting legal action regarding the IGA is resolved.
The statement optimistically stated that Poker Asia Pacific was expecting not to be in service for about two to three months. More so, its operators were confident they would attain a positive result with regards to the landscape of the poker gambling industry at that time. However, the website has remained offline to this day.
The Australian made a report that the court fined Luke Brabin, the previous winner of the 2014 World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific gold bracelet AU$10 000. When the charges were fined, the representatives of Poker Asia Pacific claimed that they were already planning to petition that online poker be removed from the list of gambling activities that are prohibited by the IGA.
Nonetheless, the government of Australia then introduced amendments to the Interactive Gambling Act. The alterations were to remove any ambiguity that might have been there in the original Act by doubling down the prohibition of online poker.
More so, the amendments gave Australian Communications and Media Authority the power to issue out penalties of AU$1.35 million per day to players who violet the act. Online operators that flout the Act will be charged up to AU$6.75 million. The Australian made a statement that they were informed about Luke Brabin’s case as a referral from ACMA.
The legislative to explicitly prohibit online poker, online casinos and all other non-betting sites has resulted in a flurry of international gambling operators leaving th e Australian market. Another online gambling operator that is yet to leave the market is Amaya Gaming’s PokerStars. However, their management reported that they might only block Aussie players 30 days before the proposed amendment becomes law.