PokerStars Exits The Australian Market8 months ago
The lights are went out for online poker all across Australia on Sunday the 10th September, when the last remaining online poker providers: LeoVegas and PokerStars turned off their server rooms in Australia as new laws came into effect.
The Interactive Gambling Amendment Act changes the requirements for running online games in Australia. The Act requires online gambling companies to be licensed and operated in Australia. That means no more offshore gaming sites, and no more Stars. It would appear most of the main players in this market were either unable to, or opted not to, move onshore and get licensed.
The Southern Crossing
888 and Party Poker saw the writing on the wall earlier this year, and pulled out ahead of the changes. PokerStars however, opted to hold on until the last possible moment in hopes of last minute changes in the law..
The desire to keep WCOOP attendance up may also have factored into Stars decision here, but now their hand is dealt and Stars has had to fold. Publicly traded companies, like Stars, must meet the regulatory standards in whatever countries they operate or risk a run in with the financial regulators in the country they are floated.
The Australian public tend to be fairly conservative on moralising matters, which doesn’t bode well for those who are still hoping for a change of heart that might allow PokerStars back. I won’t be holding my breath.
The Wider World
For those of us whose PokerStars tables are often filled out with our Australian cousins, but also this comes as a blow. Not just a massive reduction in the levels of chat-box banter, but a loss of a substantial player pool of fun loving gamblers and the joy and money they brought to the tables.
One of the biggest events on the poker TV calendar, the Aussie Millions, is liable to take a beating too. The home grown field of online satellite winners is liable to be thinner without the internet’s easy access.
Their loss is ours too. G’night, mates. We’ll miss you.
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