Aussie Poker Players Fighting to Have their Voices HeardJanuary 31, 2017 12:56 pm
With a major regulatory online gambling overhaul expected to be introduced in the next few weeks, Australian poker players are now worried that they are about to face their own Black-Friday scenario like the one that the USA suffered back in 2011.
The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill (IGA) of 2016 is set to penalize any operator providing an interactive gambling services without first obtaining a valid licence from the Australian state. While a chief aim of the amendment is to protect problem gamblers and stop offshore firms exploiting regulations concerning live in-game betting, the game of poker is likely to end up as collateral damage in the battle.
After all, the threat of being saddled with a A$6.75 million fine per day for those companies flaunting the new rules should be enough to persuade most online operators to exit the Australian market. This already includes the world’s second biggest poker site, 888Poker, with PartyPoker and PokerStars also expected to soon follow suit if legislation successfully passes.
In the meantime, poker enthusiasts are mobilizing to try and protect their game of choice, with the movement being spearheaded by Joseph Del Duca who has helped create a grassroots organization called the Australian Online Poker Alliance (AOPA). According to Del Duca, skill based games should be treated differently under the new law, with the investment banker also warning that just those black market online operators unconcerned about their public images will remain once the more reputable publicly listed companies leave. Commenting on the AOPA’s efforts thus far, Del Duca said:
“It is amazing just how many poker players have come out and supported our fight to keep online poker in Australia. The support has ranged from people of all ages from right across the country. It just shows that poker is truly a game which can be enjoyed by everyone. This is why we are fighting so hard to keep it.”
Anyone wanting to lend their support to the organization can do so by visiting its Facebook page here.