Update: Aussie Online Poker and Gambling Threat


10/21/2013
By Maria McCoyGoogle
We have been reporting sporadically this issue while also keeping our ears to the ground to see if we can get a better idea of exactly how online gambling and online poker will be affected by the news laws touted by the two parties. 
 
Labour Party: At the time that Julia Gillard was still the primary the online poker community had a massive victory when Stephen Conroy, her communications minister, actually made the distinction between pokies and online poker.
 
The problem was that many ministers had made little distinction between pokies and online poker. For those of you unaware, pokies are in essence slot machines and online poker is players playing Texas Hold’em or Omaha against each other and not versus the house or machine. However, Roulette, Blackjack and other online tables versus the house have by and large still be classified as pokies. For the online poker community that wasn’t a problem, just as long as online poker was not classifies in the same category.
 
Since this distinction Gillard and Rudd have stepped down and Rudd is in power. Right now it seems that with the Rudd government online poker will operate in exactly same grey area as it has been.
 
Liberal: Bad news approaches when we start to look at Tony Abbott’s Liberal policies. All online gambling and poker will be made illegal and enforced. He is backed up by Nick Xenophon making the coalition solid in partnership on this point.
 
In a policy to help problem gamblers all smartphone and online gambling technology will be turned off in Australia. One reporter has named the situation skin to the USA’s Black Friday except this is “Australia’s Black Friday”. There have been unconfirmed rumours that it is in fact not online poker that will be targeted and instead it is the online gambling sites that are the primary concern.
 
The problem is that enforcing this policy is easy for the Labour Party. Any site labelled gambling, which includes online poker, will likely be initially taken down. That’s a massive problem because online poker doesn’t have the lobbying power the online casinos do, and so even though it is pokies the government appear to be after online poker could suffer with limited funds to argue its point and get it back up and running.
 
Greens: The Greens really have no intentions or have mentioned no intention to ban online poker or gambling. They have a small voting base and generally they are not gamblers, so they will most likely remain neutral meaning no support can be expected from them. They were instrumental in stopping the PokerStars mobile app being introduced, so if you had to put them on one side of all this, they would sway more towards anti-gambling laws. Strange as this party want to legalise marijuana!
 


Andrew Wilkie: Wilkie is good for poker, but bad for online gambling. He would actually support and push through legalising online poker. As for online gambling, he is more sophisticated in his approach. He would probably ban all pokies as they are considered high risk as far as causing gambling problems are concerned, but Blackjack and other games w ould likely be allowed with strict rules attached.


 
Nick Xenophon: Xenophon is a no go altogether. He has no distinction between Poker, Pokies or Blackjack. He would be bad news for the online gambling community.
 
Summary: The worst case scenario is that the Liberal Party win the election. Online gamblers can expect little support in the senate form the Green’s if this happens and Xenophon will not doubt support any bans. Right now get your money out of the gambling sites or play as much as you can while you still can until elections to pass. The best case scenario is the Labour Party get back in and things don’t change.
 

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