The recently proposed Australian gambling law 2016 demands that all online gambling operators available from the country have a local license.
Heavy fines in case a local license is not acquired, is what the newly proposed Gambling Amendment Bill 2016, prescribes for the online poker operators available from the Australia. Unlike in the past, the Australian Communications and Media Authority will be the new authorized body that can now issue civil penalties, without involving the Australian Federal Police.The poker community in the country is shocked, according to gambling news, as this might mean that the many online poker brands might withdraw operating from Australia.
Drastic fines are on their way
According to the proposed versions all operators taking wagers from players in the country without a local license will be issued fines of almost up to USD 1 million per day.
For the government this is a way to restructure the gambling market in the country. As the human service minister, Alan Tudge reported few days ago the government “expect online wagering providers to meet community expectations”. According to Tudge the most important effect of the new legislation will be that it will “seriously disrupt illegal offshore providers from acting unscrupulously or targeting vulnerable Australians.
On the other side the reaction of the poker brands is more than understandable. Daniel Sebag, chief financial officer at Amaya, already stated that PokerStars might “halt operations in the country due to the new legislation“. “In Australia, stressed Sebag, we currently offer poker and are reviewing the applicability of proposed legislation to player-versus-player games of skill”. According to online gambling sites in Australia, similar announcements concerning the possible exit from the market also came from 888Poker and PartyPoker.