Not-so-long-ago in a country far, far away (relatively) the constitutional monarchy of Australia won a major political battle against online gambling. Australian online poker and casino games were the main victims of the new law set down by the Australian legislation known as the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill.
The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill effectively made it illegal for any offshore online gambling operators to court customers from within the borders of Australia. Australia has been known as one of the most prolific gambling destinations in the world and until recently, offshore gambling providers have been able to successfully do business in the country based on the blurry laws that didn’t cover the multitude of legal situations of online gambling. Since the recent passing of the IGA amendment bill, foreign operators of online gambling has been forced out of the country entirely, save for their sports gambling counterparts.
Since the news got out that the IGA amendment was gaining traction, poker enthusiasts from around Australia have banded together in numerous attempts to save their beloved poker from being banished forever. The most notable of these attempts came from the Australia Online Poker Alliance, the last rebellion of online poker in Australia. Despite their valiant effort, they too came up short in the fight to legislate and regulate domestic based online poker in Australia.
A new hope, however, has arrived. Just a short time ago on a Wednesday in mid-September, a new proposal was spotted floating around in Australian legislature that would offer a reprieve for the deprived and depleting online poker rebellion in the country. The Communications Minister, Mitch Fifield and Liberal Democrat Party Senator, David Leyonhjelm are the emblematic Jedi Knights that have chosen to fight this cause from the beginning and have already been a part of various attempts in the past.
Mitch Fifield said last Tuesday that the government was finally “favorably disposed” to the suggestion of regulating and licensing online poker domestically. The department under his command has already begun the preliminary measures in organizing their approach. Rallying support from Sen. Leyonhjelm, the ban on online poker is now being examined by a Senate Committee, which will report on their findings in the middle of October.
Both Fifield and Leyonhjelm have taken the positions that online poker enthusiasts in Australia will play online poker whether or not it has been made legal. That, by banning such an industry, only puts those players at higher risk of dealing with unregulated and unscrupulous online poker providers.
“Australian online poker players deserve to have a safe, regulated environment in which to enjoy their pastime and not be forced into using offshore sites,” said, Leyonhjelm.