In most Australian jurisdictions, poker (outside of a casino) is typically permitted provided that no person gains a percentage or share of the amounts wagered. Poker is typically played within casinos and is regulated as a table game by State and Territory gambling regulators. In addition to casinos, poker is also played in hotels and clubs without generally being regulated in the same manner as a traditional casino table poker game, provided no third party (i.e., the venue owner/operator or tournament organiser) gains a percentage or share of any amount bet.
Online poker however is prohibited in Australia under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. There has been recent lobbying seeking its approval, on the basis that it is a game of skill however further debate and public policy implications need to be considered.
Similarly to online bingo and online casino product, it is possible, however, that an applicant could potentially apply for an ‘internet gaming licence’ in the Northern Territory and offer their gaming products to customers outside of Australia in certain circumstances. Online casino gaming in Australia is regulated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
The ACMA has the power to, amongst other things, instigate civil proceedings in Australia, notify border protection agencies of the names of directors/principals of offending illegal offshore operators (who may then be placed on a ‘movement alert list’ thereby disrupting any travel to Australia) and liaise with foreign regulators to stop alleged offenders.
The ACMA has recently demonstrated that where illegal gambling product is offered in Australia they will serve warning notices and take other action (including referring matters to the Australian Federal Police). They will also issue notices to Internet Service Providers to block offending sites.
Senet are legal and regulatory experts with deep understanding of online poker and land-based poker laws and regulations in Australia. Our team are leading poker lawyers and regulatory specialists in Australia and work with clients provide pragmatic and coherent advice in relation to permissible and prohibited products and services and requirements to comply with the legal and regulatory obligations across each State and Territory.
Our team of gambling industry lawyers and experts advise clients in a range of sectors including racing, casinos, lotteries, licensed gaming venues, gaming manufacturers, social gaming, government and regulators across a spectrum of services encompassing legal, advisory and gambling compliance training services. Through the Senet Compliance Academy we provide a full spectrum of gaming compliance training courses to ensure that all staff and the venue is complying with its legal and regulatory obligations. To understand how you can meet and exceed your legal and regulatory obligations, contact the expert team at Senet.