In a surprise message to customers upon logging into their accounts, 888Poker.com sends the following:
“Following a business reevaluation, we’d like to inform you that 888poker’s services are not being offered to players residing in Australia and therefore your account will be closed as of 01/16/2017.”
Although it is yet to be confirmed by the online poker room, players speculate that this move is probably due to the proposed amendment to the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 that requires off-shore operators to get a local license to operate or be fined with a hefty amount.
PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker room and who also has a huge presence in the country, expressed that if the bill is passed into law, they may be forced to leave the market and stop offering their services to Australians.
Amaya CFO Daniel Sebag said during an earnings call. “At this time, it would appear likely that if the legislation passes, we would block players from Australia.”
Australian Online Poker Alliance
A group of poker players, however, have been lobbying that poker be excluded from this bill which originally targeted online sports betting. Australian Online Poker Alliance has been pushing that the wording of the law be changed so as not to inadvertently include poker which is also considered a mind sport.
They have been making the community aware of their cause and have asked players as well as concerned people to sign their petition and to send an email to their local MP
Article by Gabrielle Barredo