Recently there have a number of changes to the Interactive Gambling Act in Australia. This could have a large impact on how Australians gamble online. Briefly you can assume that online Poker, BlackJack and Roulette have been banned. That’s not all: online live sports betting has been banned also! Back in time: aussies who want to place a live bet, have to pass a bookmaker! How it was until today
The consequences: all online casino’s must stop taking bettors from Australia. Today, under the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 (IGA), Australian companies could not offer real money casino games, nor poker games to Australian citizens, except online sports betting. This created the strange situation that it is/was not illegal for Australians to gamble online with foreign operators! So, Aussies are free to play casino games (and poker) at hundreds of sites hosted in other parts of the world but not in Australia. The consequences
There will come heavier penalties for companies (and individuals) in Australia that ran illegal gambling sites. Websites and companies will be held liable for offering illegal games. Websites deemed illegal could be entirely shut down. Aussie Players and online Sportsbetting
For sports punters, the biggest change in the law allows gamblers to make live or in-play bets on sporting events online. This would include betting on the winner of a football match during play. Microbetting is not included, nor betting on individual balls in cricket or similar bets in other sports. These bets are already allowed at live betting offices and over the phone, so adding them to online sportsbooks seems like a logical step. Aussie Players and Poker
Also online poker falls under the recent proposed amendments to Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act. With the changes in sight: will online poker be introduced to gambling websites based in Australia itself because until now companies based in Australia are not allowed to offer such games under the current IGA. Now the government is considering a trial period for online poker. Sites would be given licences to offer online poker as long as they did not offer any other online casino games. So, offering online casino games would still be considered illegal for Australian operators to feature on their websites!
As of the 9th of August 2017, the bill was passed and is expected to come into affect withing 30 days. As the Australian Senate has passed the bill along with all of its amendments, both online casinos and poker sites will be banned. The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill was presented as a way of protecting online players. From now on it is clearly stated that any online gambling is ‘prohibited from offering services to Australian players unless they hold a license from an Australian state or territory’. The kicker is that no Australian state or territory has approval to distribute online casino licenses! So the IGA amendments will essentially make all forms of real money online card games illegal to Aussie players.
Many casino games’ software providers, i.e. Microgaming supporting casino websites, have also take a part of this exodus from Australia. Some of the biggest and most trusted names in online gambling have already left from Australia.
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