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PokerStars Say Goodbye to Australia

2017-10-05 14:56:00

September 10th will always be remembered as a dark day for online poker and casino games ‘Down Under’. At midnight, the new laws introduced under Interactive Gambling Amendment Act came into effect and effectively ended online gambling in the region. As the provision of poker and online casino from overseas providers became illegal PokerStars were one of the last operators to power down their servers and say goodbye to Australia for good.

PokerStars Leaves Australia

It’s been known for some time now that PokerStars would be leaving the Australian market. In mid-August, only days after the Australian Senate officially passed the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 the company announced that it would be pulling the plug on its Australian operation. However, unlike online bingo operator Vera & John who were first to leave the region in December 2016, 888casino in January, 32Red in April and PokerParty and in August PokerStars stuck it out until the bitter end. The Bill, which came into effect at midnight on Sunday the 10th of September, spelled the end for PokerStars in Australia but the company bowed out in a fittingly gracious fashion, thanking their Australian users for their support over the last decade.

“We’re proud to have seen the Australian poker community grow so strong over the last decade. We do respect the Australian Government’s decision in taking steps to protect consumers and hope that in time we’ll be able to serve real-money poker to you again.”

It’s believed that PokerStars stayed in Australia until the very end in the hope that the law would be changed at the last moment. The new laws have been criticized by many including Aussie Senator David Leyonhjelm of the Liberal Democrats. Leyonhielm, who has been described as the ‘Bernie Sanders of Australia’, was a vocal opponent of the Bill believing it is “nanny state legislation” and results in “a reduction in liberty”. It’s also been speculated PokerStars stayed in Australian until the very end as a ploy to keep WCOOP attendance up, the tournament runs for the month of September. Whatever the reason in the end the company were forced to fold and leave the Australian table.