Australian Poker Ban Passes In the House and the Senate, It's Over

We reported on this case multiple times: it all started with the Senate voting down an amendment to exclude poker from the new online gambling restrictions in March, where it looked as though the "Australian Black Friday" was coming. Then things seemed to take a turn for the better, as the Senate agreed to have an inquiry about the fate of the respectable game of skill, poker once more, in September. The hearing did take place earlier than planned, on August 1st but turned out to be futile. Now the saga has come to an end for good: the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 has passed the Australian House of Representatives and Senate too, this is the end of online poker in the home of the Aussie Millions.

It all ended on August 9th. This Wednesday the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 has officially passed the Australian House and Senate after almost a full year it was first introduced to the floor in November 2016 and will take effect in 30 days.

The bill bans all foreign-based operators to provide online gambling services in Australia. Technically, it only requires operators to have a gambling license issued in Australia, but as of now there's no legal way for a foreign company to apply for an Australian license. Also the new law allows the government to forcibly collect heavy fines from companies that ignore the regualations.

The Senate did have an inquiry on August 1st where the Australian Online Poker Alliance and other supporters of poker made their case to the Aussie government, but they could not influence the outcome.

Big poker rooms, such as PokerStars, 888 and partypoker has already ceased their operation in the continent-country earleir this year and they will not be back after the latest developments. Australia has its own "Black Friday" now, it's Wednesday, August 9th.