The IGA of 2016 (Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill) was approved two days ago by the Senate of Australia. The bill is meant to ban the provision of internet casinos and online poker services nationwide.
Being approved by the Senate, the IGA bill that Alan Tudge (the Human Services Minister) presented towards the end of 2016 will be effective in the coming 30 days. This bill will generally prohibit unlicensed online poker sites as well as online casinos from targeting the Australian market. However, it’s important to note that both the current regulatory framework of Australia and the one that is soon to be implemented include provisions that permit online gambling operators to apply for a license for them to operate in the Australian market.
The IGA Bill – People’s Views
Most online gambling operators were hoping that the Senate would delay until mid-September. It’s around this time that a report with the online poker inquiry that happened earlier this year is scheduled to be released. The purpose of this enquiry was to ask online poker players as well as other interested parties to air out their views on whether online poker must be banned. If not, they were to state and explain their reasons.
The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill was introduced with the aim to protect casino players from becoming the victims of any form of gambling addiction; as well as additional social ills associated with uncontrolled and excessive online gambling. Consequently, Senator Leyonhjelm reported to the media that he believes a regulated internet casino gambling industry with proper monitoring tools, together with a good taxation framework would work much better than a total ban.
Though Aussie’s new online gambling law is yet to be officially implemented, the effects have already started taking place. Online poker sites like PokerStars informed its players a while ago that the moment Australia signs the bill into law; they will no longer be operating in the Australian industry anymore. So, Aussie online poker fanatics are probably just a couple of days away from the unpleasant and big announcement from the famous poker room. Some operators such as 888poker and 32Red already bid farewell to players in Australia late last year.