Australia’s federal parliament has closed a number of regulatory loopholes consequently outlawing online poker and in-play sports betting with the ‘Gambling Amendment Bill 2016’
The decision by Parliament has been criticised by industry investors. Poker site 888Poker has already pulled out of the Australian market, anticipating the law would pass. The worlds’ largest online poker website PokerStars also announced it would leave Australia.
Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm stated that the amendments were simply ‘nanny state legislation, based on the assumption that prohibition works’. He goes on to suggest that this now forces online poker players in Australia to play at illegal online poker websites, exposing them to higher risks..
Live sports betting has also been banned. Legislators claim they are concerned that it leads to corruption in sports with an increase in spot fixing and match fixing.