Online Poker Law in Australia

Poker players will go to great lengths to find out where casinos are located wherever they visit. This is because poker is not like most other games. It comes with some thrill that is almost addictive. Whether a poker enthusiast is playing in a city casino or on some online poker site is not of consequence. There is a thrill that only the betting game can provide. So one of the top things a poker enthusiast visiting Australia seeks to know is the location of casinos, hoping they can find one around the hotel they are residing in. The next thing is to establish what the poker law in the country is like. Nobody wants to take a holiday and end up behind bars for breaking the law, whether through leisure or otherwise.

Is poker legal in Australia?

Poker can be said to be legal in Australia on one front and illegal on another. However, Aussies still play poker irrespective of what the state laws stipulate. And poker is not the only gambling activity they love. They are also enthusiastic about roulette; bingo; racing of all sorts; lotteries; and others. Still, it is good to be aware what is covered by the poker law and what is prohibited, because as far as the law goes, ignorance is no excuse.

The fact today is that Australia’s gambling law permits poker to be played within brick and mortar casinos. So, as would be expected, there are many casinos in the country. Among the most popular ones is Crown Casino, which is located in Melbourne. Another one is Star City Casino. This one is in Sydney. Poker is actually very popular in Australia, and whatever gambling goes on in the casinos is regulated under an act of parliament, namely, the Casino Control Act of 2006. Whatever an investor in the gambling sector needs to know is clearly stated in this act. That includes matters regarding casino locations and the various gaming committees charged with oversight.

Is online poker legal in Australia?

As far as Australia’s state laws are concerned, online gambling is illegal. With no other law in place to exempt online poker from the ban, it means it is illegal to play poker online in Australia. To be precise, the illegality of online poker falls under the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 (IGA). This law was passed when Prime Minister Howard was in power; actually in the month of June 2001. The law sought to protect Australian citizens against the negative effects of online poker and online gambling as a whole.

Whether the law succeeded in this protection is subject to debate. The reality on the ground is that Australians who want to engage in online poker do not have to fly abroad – they do it right within the borders of Australia. Poker enthusiasts have realized that the government is keen on cracking the whip on the businesses that host poker illegally online and does not seem to follow up on poker players themselves. As such, many of the poker lovers just log onto the websites that offer online poker, even when those sites are based in other countries.

Incidentally, Australia’s state laws do not prohibit the citizens from accessing such sites. Yet the IGA prohibits anyone from offering interactive gambling related services that use real money online. It also prohibits any advertising of such gambling activities that use real money. So Aussies continue to play online poker because of the gaping loopholes in the gambling law and the weakness in the implementation of the existing online gambling law. Maybe it is just as well because the presence of Aussies in the world poker arena is well felt.

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