The leading poker room brand, PokerStars, has announced that they will be exiting the online poker market in Australia. This decision comes after the Australian Senate passed the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016. In the bill, online poker in the country is considered illegal.
PokerStars intends to exit the country mid- September. They have not mentioned the exact date of when that will be as of yet. They have started sending emails to their Aussie players making them aware of the decision.
Australian Player Accounts
In the email communication that was sent, the poker brand says that players are allowed to withdraw their funds from their casino account. Furthermore, if there are players who have tournament tickets and unused Star Coins, they can convert them into money and withdraw it.
PokerStars communicated that they would respect the decision that the Australian government has made. They also mentioned that they hope to one day return and offer online poker for real money.
Interactive Gambling Bill 2016 Details
In the bill, any in-play sports betting and online poker offer for Australian players in banned. A gaming site will only be allowed to offer its services to Aussies is it holds a license under the State of Territory.
The passing of the bill came as a surprise to many because it came days after the Australian Online Poker Association (AOPA) stated their case not to ban the activity. The online poker brand is in full support of what AOPA is trying to achieve.
PokerStars is following other poker brands such as 888poker, 32Red, and Vera&John were the first to leave the online poker market in Australia. In the future, we are bound to see other big brands exit the Australian online poker market. They have 30 days as a grace period once that is over, gambling brands that do not comply will receive a penalty of $5 million a day.