Poker in Australia

Gambling has always been part of the Australian mentality. As a matter of fact, they are very proud about their reputation as a nation of people that will bet on “two flies on the wall.” Statistics have shown that 90% of the Australian population gamble, for a total of AUS $20 billion a year. As such, a casino can always be found in most of the cities and regions of Australia.

However, because of this statistic, there have also been issues that have affected gambling, especially online gaming, due to the problem of gambling addiction.

Australia does not enjoy quite the same reputation as Macau and Las Vegas. Instead, Australia, as a country keenly enthusiastic about poker, developed prestige in being one of the best live poker destinations in the world. This fact is reflected in the number of poker tables in Australian casinos. Apart from this, one of the biggest poker events in the world happens in the country Down Under – The Aussie Millions. It is said that the 2005 WSOP Main Event victory of Australian Joe Hachem has been pivotal in the growth of poker in Australia. Be that as it may, Australia is definitely top of mind when players think of poker.

Famous Australian Poker Players

We’ve mentioned 2005 WSOP Main Event champion Joe Hachem above. He’s currently topping the Australian all time money list on Hendon with $12.714 million in career earnings – $7.5 million of which he got for his Main Event title. 

Kahle Burns is second on that list with $10.732 million. 2-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Michael Addamo is third with $8.303 million – however, he’s also collected many millions in cashes while playing online high rollers.

Robert Campbell won the WSOP Player of the Year award (after a memorable mess-up by the World Series) in 2019. He won two bracelet events that year. “Aussie” Matt Kirk is a famous super high stakes Pot Limit Omaha cash game player.

– Playing Live Poker in Australia –

   Live Poker Legislation in Australia


In Australia, each state has its own set of laws that pertain to gambling, but it’s legal everywhere to gamble. As such, nothing restricts the playing of live poker, and many popular tournaments take place each year.

However, because of the intrinsic popularity of gaming in the country, legislation has been very watchful of problems caused by gambling. There are said to be between 80,000 to 160,000 Australian gambling addicts, costing about $4.7 billion annually to society. As such, regulations have been established to control the gambling situation. Although these laws have never been directed at the players and how they spend their money, the Australian government has stipulated rules on the operators as to how they promote their games. 


  Live Poker Venues in Australia


Australia has a total of around 130 poker tables spread across 20+ poker rooms. Also, poker machines are extremely popular in Australia, with 180,000 units: that’s five times more than the US!

There are numerous cities around the fringes of the country, but if you are seeking a top location to play poker, Melbourne is a great destination. Other locations with casinos include Darwin, Queensland, Brisbane, Sydney, and Adelaide. Live poker is not restricted, and is open to natives as well as tourists.

Australia is home to some of the biggest poker tournaments there are, such as the Aussie Millions, the ANZPT, and of course, WSOP, WPT, APT and APPT stops.

– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Australia –

Adelaide Casino

Cairns Reef Hotel

Country Club Casino Launceston

Crown Melbourne Casino

Crown Perth Casino

Alice Springs Lasseters Hotel Casino

Penrith Panthers Club

Poker Palace Sydney

Rounders Elite Poker Club

The Star Sydney

Townsville Ville Resort and Casino

Treasury Casino Brisbane

Wrest Point Hotel Casino

Crown Sydney

Adelaide Casino

Located in the heritage listed Adelaide Railway Station the Poker Zone is regarded as one of the premier poker rooms in Australia.

Cairns Reef Hotel Casino
Cairns Reef Hotel Casino

Located by the pier of Cairns and its night market, in the Great Barrier Reef region, it offers a variety of table games.

country club tasmania
Country Club Launceston

Located in northern Tasmania, it was the 2nd casino to open on the Island in 1982, and the 3rd one in Australia.

crown melbourne poker
Crown Melbourne Casino

Probably the most famous and the largest casino in Australia with over 50 poker tables to play in.

crown perth poker
Crown Perth Casino

Open 24/7, the poker room has 12 cash games tables, weekly tournaments and major tournaments like the 2016 Western Classic Poker Championship.

Crown Sydney outdoor
Crown Sydney Casino

Crown Sydney is set to open by the end of 2020 and will be the tallest structure in the city. The casino will be catered to VIP players.

Lasseters Casino 2015
Lasseters Hotel Casino

Located in the central Australian city of Alice Springs by the Todd River, it has a variety of gaming tables and 330 gaming machines, plus a VIP room.

panthers club
Penrith Panthers Club

Poker Tournaments every Tuesday & Sunday.  To be able to avail of these activities, one has to become a member of the Club.

poker palace sydney2
Poker Palace Sydney

Offers high buy-in games and HOP, OMAHA, HOPS, Shot Clock, Mix Max, Six Max events and Hyper Spin Sit and Go’s.

rounders elite poker
Rounders Elite Poker Club

Exclusive Member’s Only Poker Club located in the main street of Five Dock. Membership to the club is only $5 a year.

The Star Casino Vivid Sydney 2015
The Star Sydney

2nd largest casino in Australia. The main gaming floor has a dedicated poker area which offers cash games and tournaments.

The Ville Resort and Casino

Play Texas Hold’Em Poker, Three card Poker and Caribbean Stud Poker while enjoying a view on Magnetic Island and the Pacific Ocean.

Treasury Casino Brisbane

Opened in 1995 and set in a magnificent building by the Brisbane river. Texas Hold’Em Poker, Three Card Poker, Mississipi and Caribbean Stud Poker.

Wrest Point Casino
Wrest Point Hotel

Opened more than 40 years ago, it has numerous tables and electronic tables, as well as your expected Texas Hold’Em games and VIP room. 

– Play Online Poker in Australia –

 Online Poker Legislation in Australia


In 2016, it was proposed that the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 (IGA) be amended to contain more enforcement against offshore gambling based on the Review of Illegal Offshore Wagering made by Hon. Barry O’Farrell.  The Interactive Gambling Act of 2016 was passed in 2017, and although the focus of the act was to primarily curtail illegal sports betting, the wording of the amendment inadvertently affected and included offshore online poker sites.

As such, even before the bill was passed, 888Poker, one of the biggest online players in the Australian market, pulled out.  They were followed by the withdrawal of PokerStars and PartyPoker from the Australian market. The majority of the largest and most trusted operators have been leaving Australia, fearing fines in excess of AUS $1 million. However other poker sites continue to serve Aussies, like Intertops, and Ignition Casino. However, in early 2020, those foreign sites remaining were blocked by the local government.

Based on the wording of the IGA, however, Australia is now considering licensing poker platforms as onshore poker operators to allow them to do business and to continue providing service to the poker community in the country. In that spirit, the communications Minister, Mitch Fifield, announced that the government is “disposed in a favorable manner to the proper idea of quickly licensing online poker.”  Liberal Democrat, Senator David Leyonhjelm, also declared “Australian online poker players deserve to have a safe, regulated environment in which to enjoy their pastime and not be forced into using offshore sites.

Despite those promising words, in the years passed since IGA took effect, the Australian online poker licencing scheme has not been created yet.

Best Australian Poker Sites in 2024

In this article, we offer a list of the advantages and disadvantages of each online Poker Room currently accessible to Australian players in 2024.

– Recommended Online Poker Rooms in Australia –

– The Best Australian Poker Players –

Alexander Lynskey

Alexander Lynskey

  • From Brisbane
  • Earlier years grinding MTTs online
  • Cashes on the ANZPT tour and the Aussie Millions
  • Over USD3 Million in live cashes
  • First large live cash in 2015, USD94,816 for 9th in the Aussie Millions Main Event
  • 2015: 6th place in a WPT event for USD135,504 
  • 2016: USD311,530 score for 4th place at the Aussie Millions Main Event
  • USD165,308 at the APC

andrew hinrichsen

Andrew Hinrichsen

  • From Melbourne
  • Live poker career beginnings in 2009/2010
  • late 2010: 2nd in the 6 max High Roller Macau Poker Cup for USD40,850. 
  • 2011: 23rd place in the WSOP Main Event for USD302,005
  • October 2011: first WSOP bracelet in the EUR1,000 Hold’ em event at the WSOPE in France for USD197,748
  • January 2012: 32nd place in the Aussie Million Main Event for USD30,884
  • November 2012: 7th place in the ACOP Main Event for USD100,510.
James Obst WSOP Midway 1498455518 85190

James Obst

  • From Adelaide
  • Started playing online as “Andy McLEOD”
  • Holds four SCOOP titles
  • Started competing on the live circuit in 2009
  • 2010 Asia Pacific Poker Tour High Roller Event winner for USD148,300
  • 2011: 5th in the Aussie Millions AUD100,000 event for USD197,804
  • 2014: 10th at the USD50,000 Poker Players Championship Event for USD115,447 and 3rd at the USD10,000 7-Card Stud Event for USD103,895
  • 2016: 2nd in the USD10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship for USD261,354 and 13th in the Main Event for USD427,930
  • 2017: 2nd place in the USD2,500 Limit Mixed Triple Draw Lowball for USD80,922 and 1st in the USD10,000 Razz Championship for USD265,138
Joe Hachem 1500137300 41281

Joe “Diamond Joe” Hachem

  • Born in Lebanon, from Melbourne
  • Probably best known Australian poker player
  • 2000: First recorded cash
  • 2005: winner of the WSOP Main Event for USD7,500,000
  • November 2005: 5th place in a WSOP Circuit event for USD88,172
  • 2006: 2nd in a short handed Holdem Event for USD256,800
  • December 2006: winner of the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic for USD2,207,575
  • 2007: winner of the Poker After Dark WSOP Champions tournament for USD120,000
  • 2011: 2nd in the USD5,000 The Big Event, Los Angeles Main Event for USD 300,000
  • 2012: 3rd in the Aussie Millions Main Event for USD339,726
  • 2019: 3rd in WSOP Event #65 for USD201,041
jonathan xmonsterxdongx karamalikis australia

Jonathan “xMONSTERxDONGx” Karamalikis

  • From Adelaide
  • Total Live Earnings: over USD4 Million
  • First tournament results in 2007
  • Biggest cash: 2nd in 2017 Bellagio Cup XIII for USD523,343
  • Former sponsored Full Tilt pro
  • Online nick “xMONSTERxDONGx”
Kahle Burns

Kahle Burns

  • From Geelong
  • Live results since 2009
  • Biggest cash: 3rd in 2017 Triton Macau Main Event for USD1,300,035
  • Total Live Earnings over USD5 Million
  • No bracelets yet, but a total of 10 WSOP cashes for a total of USD708,810

MArtin Kozlov 1489637379 16051 1

Martin Kozlov

  • From Melbourne
  • PokerStars nick “nizmo jiz”
  • First tournamwent results in 2007
  • Total earnings of ofer USD3 Million
  • 4 major wins on HendonMob:
    2010: ANZPT Melbourne Main Event for USD189,908
    2014: Sydney Championships Main Event for USD158,906
    2016: WSOP Event #39 for USD665,709
    2017: Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship Event for USD754,083
Robert Campbell 2nd

Robert Campbell

  • From Melbourne
  • Mixed Game Specialist
  • First tournament results in 2007
  • Online nick “SonicJaxx”
  • Total Live Earnings USD1.3 Million
  • Biggest Score: 2019 WSOP USD10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship for USD385,763
  • Once been ranked #1 Pokemon Generation 1 Player 
  • Former stand-up comedian.


– Chronology of the history of the game in the country –

  • Pre-90s – Poker was a private affair, casinos did not offer the game
  • Early 90s – Birth of the internet and introduction to chat relay games
  • Late 90s – Introduction of first online poker rooms
  • June 1997 – First poker offerings at Crown Casino, Melbourne
  • January 1998 – Planet Poker launches, the first big online poker room
  • June 1998 – First Australasian Poker Championship at Crown Melbourne
  • June 2001 – The Interactive Gambling Act is passed by Australia’s government
  • January 2003 – First prize pool over $1M at the Australian Poker Championship
  • November 2006 – Joe Hachem wins WSOP Main Event
  • October 2013 – The annual WSOP Asia Pacific tournament runs for the first time
  • February 2014 – Melbourne hosts the first Aussie Millions tournament
  • October 2014 – The annual WSOP Asia Pacific tournament runs for the last time
  • 2016 – Scandal around Luke Brabin and his “Poker Asia Pacific”
  • 2017 – The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill – Australian Online Poker ban
  • 2018 – Aussie Millions breaks its record for biggest Main Event
  • 2019 – Aussie Millions breaks its record for biggest Main Event again

– Poker News in Australia –

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