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Australian Online Poker Legality Questions and Answers

What is the Best Poker Platform for Online Play in Australian?

Intertops is our recommended online poker room for Australians.

Way back in 1996, Intertops started taking bets on the internet. As you’d expect from a company that has over 20 years in the online betting industry they have a reputation second to none when it comes to facilitating quick and secure deposit and withdrawal options.

What Is the Interactive Gambling Act?

The Interactive Gambling Act, passed in 2001 by the Australian Government, regulates virtually all online gambling in the country. The law set some broad restrictions on online gambling: while sports betting on the Internet is permitted by licensed bookies, other forms of Internet gambling such as casino gaming, were prohibited. While some Web casinos operated by Australians were grandfathered in, none have survived to this day.

What Exactly Does the IGA Do?

The IGA does not make it an offence for individual Australians to gamble online. Instead, it targets the companies that provide online poker, and makes it illegal to provide Web-based gambling services to customers in Australia. Companies both domestic and foreign are prohibited from marketing or providing online poker to Australians.

While that was enough to keep Australian firms from trying to start Internet poker sites, it did little to discourage most foreign operators from staying out of the market. Sites from around the world have offered poker games to Australians without interruption and with no real push back from the Australian government since the IGA was passed. Since Australian law doesn’t make it illegal for players to play poker on the Web, millions of players across the country have still been able to play poker (or other casino games) online each year with foreign organisations based in Europe, the Caribbean and elsewhere.

What Recent Legal Developments Affect the Situation?

In recent years, several developments have made it seem as though the online poker situation in Australia might go through some changes – though it now appears more likely that the status quo will remain intact for some time to come.

First, in an effort to prevent Australians from so easily playing on foreign sites, some legislators proposed that Australia pass a law similar to the UIGEA laws in the United States. These laws would target banks, making it illegal for them to process online gambling transactions. However, these efforts were quickly defeated, as banks pointed out that given the fully legal nature of many online gambling transactions in Australia (such as those for lotteries and at sports betting sites), it would be too difficult to implement any such scheme.

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More recently, a review of the IGA suggested in order to stop the flow of money out of Australia, Australian companies should be able to receive licenses to operate their own online poker rooms in the country. This would give Australians the option of playing on locally regulated and licensed sites. However, it appears gambling expansion and trials of online poker licensing does not have the political support to be given the go ahead any time soon.

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