PlayPokerOnline.com report on the Australian online poker reform situation.
Online PR News – 12-May-2011 – – Andrew Wilkie, a Tasmanian independent, has taken a strong stance against the online poker industry by pushing for reform in it. PlayPokerOnline.com reported that Wilkie is not willing to let go of his stance any time soon. This has resulted in a heated situation in the online poker industry in Australia. One of the reform suggestions that Wilkie has made is to include pre-commitment technology that will require players to decide how much money they are willing to gamble at a time.
In the meanwhile, the government is yet to decide whether the new regulations should be imposed on poker players or not. This issue has come at a time when Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s government is facing problems in the form of republic debate. It is possible that the current online poker situation could affect her coalition negatively as she has agreed to the demand for a reform.
Wilkie has stated that he will withdraw his support, should the government fail to pass the legislation. He expects the government to make a decision by May 2012. Wilkie backed his suggestion by stating that the online poker industry should be regulated so players can play poker online responsibly.
Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Rob Oakeshott has clarified that he will not support a reform that can affect the gambling industry. Tony Crock, a West Australian MP too has stated that he is willing to oppose measures that can restrict poker players both online and in land based casinos. PlayPokerOnline.com mentioned that there is a chance that the other Labor MPs who want to support the reform may not get the opportunity to do so with organizations lobbying for a free environment for poker players gaining momentum.
One such is Clubs Australia, which is strongly opposing the reform. The lobbying group is launching a campaign of $20 million that will use radio, television, newspapers and the internet to gain support for their cause. According to PlayPokerOnline.com, the campaign will last for approximately two years.
In Australia, online betting on sports is permitted, while there are restrictions on other forms of online gambling. Though laws that make online gambling, illegal have been created under the Interactive Gambling Act, 2001, they have not been enforced. Australian poker players currently enjoy the casino sites provided by operators in Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and Alderney.
A spokesperson for PlayPokerOnline.com stated that “Wilkie has clarified that he is not supporting the bill that Senator Nick Xenophon had introduced to prevent credit card companies in Australia from going through with the payments made to gambling sites operated overseas. Wilkie has stated that he would rather opt for the regulation of online gambling instead of prohibiting it.”
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