Online poker exempt of Aussie ban

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Credits: AFP PHOTO/William WEST

The iGaming industry was partially blocked in Australia, but a new amendment could exempt poker from the ban.

Australia.- The recently approved Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 would not ban online poker platforms due to Senator David Leyonhjelm’s proposal. The Senator has been pushing for online poker dismissal regarding the federal ban on iGaming industry since the current administration decided to approve several reforms limiting the gaming sector.

According to the official, the national government “has advised that it is ‘favorably disposed’ to reforms that would exempt online poker players from illegal offshore wagering laws.” The move was set after Leyonhjelm tried to eliminate poker activities from the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 earlier this year.

The Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has allegedly decided to allow Leyonhjelm’s  department to “undertake some preliminary work examining the feasibility of Australian onshore providers obtaining licenses to operate online poker.”

Under the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016, iGaming operators without proper licenses would be banned from the market, although it does not clarify the requirements to obtain and implement an iGaming license. Therefore, gaming supporters consider the bill would only prohibit online gaming operations.

With Governor-General Peter Cosgrove’s signature, the legislation received the Royal Assent, which means the bill could finally take effect. The regulation was introduced last year by Human Services Minister Alan Tudge. The national Senate had approved it earlier this month.