Early this year, the Australian government approved the bill to ban the online gambling activity of Poker in the country. This decision did not go down well with some of the online poker lovers in Australia. One of those individuals is Joseph Del Duca. He decided to start the Australian Online Poker Alliance (AOPA) to try and convince the government that they are making a mistake.
Del Duca has support from David Leyonhjelm and together and other supporters came together to put together a case to present to the government. Leyonhjelm was able to convince the Environment, and Communications References Committee to hold an inquiry about the option to not ban online poker.
Fortunately for him and the AOPA support, the committee agreed to hear their case, and it was scheduled to take place on 1 August.
The Day of the Online Poker Inquiry
On the day of the inquiry, there were members of the Environment, and Communications References Committee, whom the AOPA were presenting their case to. It was Jonathan Duniam, David-Whish-Wilson, Cory Bernardi and David Leyonhjelm.
Representing the AOPA was Joseph Del Duca supported by Oliver Gill-Gaber and James Devine who are Australia online poker players. Luke Brabin, the World Series of Poker bracelet winner, was also there to assist in delivering a strong case.
Other than the four individuals that we have mentioned above and to also further validate that online poker has a low gambling problem, was the following experts:
- Director of Gambling and Treatment Clinic at the University of Sydney – Professor Alex Blaszczynski
- Psychologist and Chairman of the Responsible Gambling Research Group – Dr. Sally Gainsbury
Take out from the Online Poker Inquiry
According to the gambling experts, Professor Blaszczynski and Dr. Sally Gainsbury, giving players a basis of playing online poker will encourage people to gamble. However, the committee’s concern is the effect that online gambling will have on players, which they believe will worsen gambling problems. Both gambling experts argued that the evidence they have shown that there is a small percentage of individuals with gambling problems due to playing online poker.
There was also talk about the use of advertising and marketing as a way to attract players and that it is too aggressive. The AOPA team suggested that guidelines be put in place to avoid the situation that happened with sports betting and horse racing.
Australian Online Poker Alliance will have to wait until 21 September for the decision that the committee will make. For the transcript of the online poker, inquiry click here.