Australian Online Poker Alliance (AOPA) is working to revoke the ban on online poker. In the past months, they have been gathering petitions and putting together information that will try and convince the Environment and Communications References Committee. The due date for submitting the plea not to ban online poker has passed which is was July 21.
AOPA has managed to have received 20 to 200 submissions. A senior lecturer, Dr. Sally Gainsbury, and some gambling problem experts are amongst the individuals that made submissions. The leading poker room provider, PokerStars is in full support of the movement. However, it is not clear whether they were included in the presentation.
The following are some of the points that the alliance is stating for their reasons not to ban online poker.
- Poker players in Australia have the right to use their money in whichever activity they see fit, especially if it does not harm others
- Online pokers operators will pay for the privilege to offer online poker gaming to Australians and this will benefit government
- There is research that has been done by various countries that proves that playing online poker has a low occurrence of problem gambling
- If the government prohibits online poker, it won’t prevent players from taking part in this activity at unregulated sites
The Task of the Committee
The Environment and Communications References Committee will take place from now until 14 September 2017. From the submission from the AOPA, decisions will be based on the following points:
- Australians participation in online poker
- The effects of playing this game, whether it has any harm on the individual
- Are there any benefits of playing online poker?
- Whether the amended Act is a reasonable way to tackle the challenges that come with online gambling
An Opening to offer Online Poker
Ignition Casino, a Costa Rica based operator, has plans to take advantage of the current situation. They will offer online poker gambling to the gray market in Australia. However, this is risky waters to cross because according to Senator Mitch Fifield, the Australian government views online poker as illegal. He also said that there are plans to change this view.
Australian Online Poker Alliance (AOPA) and Australian online poker players can only hope that the committee will reconsider their decision and allow poker gambling on the internet.