Those who want to play online poker in Australia may soon find themselves out of options. Australian law enforcement is stepping up efforts to battle illegal online poker sites. The Australian Crime Commission (AAC) along with the the Australian Federal police asked the Federal Government to allow them to apply the same principles used in the recent Black Friday indictment of online poker rooms in the United States.
The law is on the books, all that must be done now is to actually implement it. For that Australia turned to the US Federal Government which is happily providing all the information that Aussies will need to re-indict all the same companies that America had, but now for alleged crimes against Australia.
Foreign-based online poker sites are the only possibility open to online poker fans in Australia. However they have been dodging Australian gambling laws for years, and now ACC want the law to be strictly enforced. According to latest reports some wise poker pros from Queensland has been earning over $750,000 annually absolutely tax-free. Naturally this missing tax revenue is much needed for social projects.
Operating an online casino, bingo or poker website in Australia is punishable by fines of up to $1.1 million per day under the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA). Yet no operator has ever been charged since the laws were introduced over 10 years ago.
Senator Conroy’s spokesman commented that “as the internet is a cross-jurisdictional medium, it is difficult for Australia to enforce our laws on companies not based in Australia. The Government continues to examine the regulatory approaches taken by other countries to online gambling to see what can be learned about the best way to respond.”
Quite a few Australian-based firms, known to be assisting with online poker transactions, are expected to be charged under the IGA. Karen Harfield, acting ACC CEO did not share the names of these companies, yet said that “online gambling sites in Australia are a potential channel for money laundering, revenue evasion and taxation fraud.”