The online poker scene in the U.S has been well documented to showcase that while there is a strong group of poker enthusiasts lobbying for the legalization of online poker, there is also a vast majority who oppose the rights to online gambling in America.
Australia has now joined the party and has imposed strict regulations on the online poker community by asking the Apple Store to remove the PokerStars and 888 poker apps.
This request came from the government and the Apple App Store had to comply and remove all poker apps.
All poker apps across the country will soon be taken down. Representatives from PokerStars have informed players via tweets to voice their displeasure across the nation by writing into the concerned authorities.
One of the tweets from PokerStars read:
@teamthumper Your local authorities are the best point of call for information. As far as we know it’s a ‘clamp down’ on mobile gaming.
— PokerStars (@PokerStars) July 14, 2013
While there has been no official statement released by the government, it is common knowledge that within Australia only sports betting and lotteries are permitted. Based on the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 in Australia, most forms of online gambling and online poker are considered to be illegal.
Australian Senator Dr Richard Di Natale called has been someone who has openly come out and said that he does not want online poker in Australia.
During the month of April 2013, he specifically called for the removal of the PokerStars app from the Apple store. Back then he went on to say:
“We don’t allow online poker in Australia for Australian people under the Interactive Gambling Act”
He went on to say that since the Apple Store offered these apps in Australia it encouraged online poker and based on Australia law had an obligation to take down the app. It appears that the Australia government has taken Senator Di Natale’s views serious by ordering the Apple store to remove all poker related apps.
This is a big blow for online poker and online poker app players all across Australia. Even, if they do manage to raise a petition and send it to the concerned authorities, it will take a long time for them to get the government to change its views and once again allow the Apple store to sell online poker apps. Apple Australia is yet to release a statement on these developments.