An amendment made to Australia's 2001 Interactive Gambling Act could potentially force some leading online poker sites to exit the market; therefore, they would cease to offer their services to players residing in the country.
In Australia, online gambling has long been considered as a "gray market", a jurisdiction whereby laws exist to disallow the provision of online gambling, however, due to the language of the laws, certain loopholes can be exploited, enabling gambling-oriented entities to continue providing their services to gamblers. The new legislation could change all that, and the formerly "gray" market in terms of online poker services shall now become a "black" one.
Earlier this month, the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 was introduced, which states that online gaming brands are required to obtain local licenses in the country, or else they could face heavy fines.
An Australian official said, "The government is committed to taking tougher action against illegal offshore wagering providers and this bill does exactly that."
Operators without a local license but still continue to take bets from the country's punters will be regarded to have broken the law - individuals could face fines of up to $1.35 million Australian dollars per day, whereas companies could be charged as much as $6.75 million.
PokerStars, partypoker, 888poker and many other sites that currently offer gaming services to the Aussie poker market has stated that they will be forced to exit should the amendment come into effect, in order to protect their licensing in other jurisdictions.