Australian poker players are not letting it go without a fight. The supporters of online poker created the “Australian Online Poker Alliance (AOPA)” to encourage authorities to legalise the sector. They are gathering opponents against an amendment to the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act, introduced to parliament in November. AOPA introduces a framework to regulate the sector and offers ways how the Australian government could benefit from that.
Until the amendment was introduced, online poker had operated in what was considered to be a “grey area” of the law. The new law was introduced to toughen the situation for offshore, illegal operators that are willing to target Australians. However, it added an effect of banning online poker. Since according to the new law, only operators holding a license in Australia are able to offer their services to Australians and the only licence given is for online sports betting, the poker sites would have no other choice but to quite the market or break the law.
Shortly after the amendment was introduced, 888Poker has exited the market. PokerStars indicated they will be following the same path.
AOPA is offering a way to discuss the issue and gather those who care about the poker to join the cause. They are encouraging the residents to contact the local elected members of the Parliament, express their disagreement and spread the awareness.
AOPA is gaining high recognition among online poker supporters.
“It is amazing just how many poker players have come out and supported our fight to keep online poker in Australia,” said Joseph Del Duca, one of AOPA’s representatives. “The support has ranged from people of all ages from right across the country. It just shows that poker is truly a game which can be enjoyed by everyone. This is why we are fighting so hard to keep it.”