Online gambling laws have been a hot topic for players across Australia. The new legislation was introduced in November of 2016; many online casino providers are poised to exit Australia. Sadly for many Internet gamblers, this could also include banning online gambling as a whole.
At first, it wasn’t clear how much of an impact the bill would have on online gambling laws. The specifics have been kept largely under wraps, though many people have speculated what it would mean. Online casino providers like Vera & John and 888Poker confirmed their exits in December and January respectively.
Changes to Online Gambling Laws
One of the most recent changes approved by the Australian Senate is the outlawing of internet poker and in-play sports betting. As yet, online poker will only be outlawed because it does not have a national authorisation code. It’s possible that this might change before the bill is passed by the Senate.
Criticism for Online Gambling Laws
Critics of the bill, including Senator David Leyonhjelm, don’t agree with the amendments. Leyonhjelm even went as far as to state that outlawing poker was a bad move. In his opinion, and that of many Australians, people will still gamble online and that some members of the Senate are creating “…a stupid situation to be in.”
While poker may be outlawed altogether, the amendments now ban any form of in-play sports betting. Previously operators exploited a loophole allowing bettors to place bets via telephone. After the controversies surrounding the Grand Open Tennis Tournaments, these amendments are expected to prevent game fixing.
For Australian online casino users, the new online gambling laws could create a lot of problems for the market. With many legal operators preparing to exit Australia, players might have to turn to illegal sites to enjoy online poker. This could mean a lot of unwanted legal problems in the long run for everyday online poker fans.
Outlook for Australian Online Gambling in 2017
While the Australian Senate continues to revise and amend the bill, it’s not certain that the bill will be passed. Until then, we’ll keep all of our Aussie players in the loop with new amendments or votes. For the moment, current gambling laws in Australia allow Internet gambling and online poker specifically.
To visit our online poker law change page, click here.