It’s seems that the recent efforts of the Australian Government to tighten regulations for online operators could see a number of big names in the online gambling industry close their doors to Australian players and cause a shortage of poker rooms in the country.
It all started back in July 2016, when a number of senators joined forces in urging the government to reconsider the existent gambling legislation on the grounds of unfair advertising tactics, massive nation-wide gambling expenses, and fears of problem gambling. The call for changes lead to a review of the old law and a new amendment that was presented earlier this month.
According to Human Services Minister, Alan Tudge, they [the government] believe that online gamblers are at higher risks of problem gambling and that the new bill will ensure offshore operators which illegally target “vulnerable” Australians are “disrupted”. If passed, the new law is likely to force major operators out of the country by imposing higher fines and new licensing requirements.
The new regulation will give higher power to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, who will have the right to impose civil penalties and issue injunctions, infringement notices and warnings without the involvement of the Australian Federal Police. The law also stipulates that any operator that accepts wagers from Australian players would have to acquire a local license or face fines of up to AUS $6.75 million per day.
Commenting on the legislation, Daniel Sebag, the CFO of Amaya Corp who own Full Tilt Poker, said that, at the time being, the company is considering to block Australian players should the legislation passes. They are also looking into the applicability of the law to player-vs-player skilled games, as they don’t offer any sport betting in the country. Other operators reportedly considering a pullback from the market are Party Poker and 888 Poker.