Australia Online Poker Law

Published May 18, 2009

Australia Online Poker Law

Companies who offer online poker to Australians could face hefty fines.

The letter of the law, if one would read the Interactive Gambling Act as it is, says online poker sites geared towards Australian citizens is illegal. Simple as that.

In reality, the ban is less respected by online poker rooms than it is, say, in the United States. Australian newspapers and websites have painted the current situation, which is as follows:
Even though the law, ever since 2001, does not permit online gambling firms based outside Australia to take bets from those "physically present in Australia," it is practiced by some.

Gibraltar based Ladbrokes have no restrictions. The law has them facing a hefty fine of up to $1.1 million per day, as they risk losing the rights to apply for a Victorian land betting license in the future, which they reported in January that they are interested in.

How come? How come Ladbrokes are not being persecuted and online poker companies do take bets from Australians?

Perhaps the answer is in the ongoing review of the legislation by the Productivity Commission, mainly since the courts find it difficult to enforce penalties against overseas companies.

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