Australian Poker Sites – List of poker rooms for players from Australia
For years, Australian online poker players have been lobbying for a way to play their beloved card game online, and legally.
If live in Australia then you will have known that the way players have had to play poker online was to frequent offshore poker sites to get their fill of the action.
A recently proposed bill may have changed all of that. However, the new Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 has effectively killed off the online poker industry in the country…or have they?
Best Australian Poker Sites for September 2023
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The Big Question: Can I Play Online Poker in the Australia
Groups such as the Salvation Army have long been against any further expansion of gambling laws in Australia. Gambling is immensely popular in Australia, although players will have a hard time finding online places to play. The vast majority of Australians tend to wager on pokie machines. Despite how they may sound, these are simply slot machines, and often have very little to do with poker or video poker for that matter. Whilst the land-based gambling laws are not federal and are decided at a state level. The same is not true of online gambling laws.
The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 made it quite clear that Australian gambling operators were not permitted to accept players based in Australia. This also applied to the advertisements. To combat, that, offshore operators began to offer their services to players in Australia instead. For the last 16 years, this is how many Australians managed to play poker online. That loophole has now been closed, though, thanks to the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016. In theory, no, Australians cannot play online poker. In practice, though, yes…
Australian Poker Laws, Rules and Regulations
The Australian Government hopes that by passing the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016, they will be able to stop Aussies from accessing offshore poker rooms as well as casinos and sportsbooks. In effect, it makes it illegal for offshore companies to offer their services to domestic players. Many leading poker players came forward to spearhead a movement to have this bill thrown out, but ultimately, they failed.
Does this mean that Australians are now going to be denied the right to play poker online at offshore poker sites? Not necessarily, and here’s why…
- The bill only targets operators and providers, not Australian players
- ISPs may block offshore sites, but VPNs and proxies can get around that
- Poker games are still legal in land-based venues, thanks to independent state laws
There are, of course, drawbacks to the bill being passed all the same. Ever since the amendment was made, a record number of poker sites have been pulling out of Australian market. These offshore poker domains (although offering poker illegally to players in the first place) are now well and truly beyond reach and refuse to accept Australian players. The danger with this is that if Australian players will want to get their fill of poker, they may have to turn to poorly regulated offshore sites.
Australian Poker Licence Authorities
Australia doesn’t have it own licensing authority as poker players have only ever been able to play at offshore poker sites, Australians aren’t going to too worried if they have to in the future if they wish to get round any potential ban.
Unlike some Aussie favourites, which were generally licensed out of respectable licensing jurisdictions, and that means that they were fully regulated. Offshore casinos are often licensed out of Curacao and Panama (for less, respectable jurisdictions), so the chances are that more than a few Australians are going to fall victim to scams, rogue casinos and blacklisted poker rooms because of these harsher restrictions, and that has the opposite effect of what the Salvation Army and other anti-gambling groups want.
To be frank, you can’t really find tougher poker laws in western or established countries than those of Australia. They are far behind Canada’s liberal grey-zone laws, and even behind the United States (which takes some doing), who permit poker gameplay online in licensed casinos in three states and do nothing to stop players from trying their luck at offshore poker rooms. Australia is, therefore, a million miles behind the UK (the most open of the four countries), with the difference between the openness to online poker being laughable.
Popular Poker Games in Australia
The game selection at Australian poker sites is nothing less than the one at other top notch poker rooms. Australian players have a love of the same types of poker games that you can find elsewhere across the globe. Given that most of the poker sites they will be playing at are offshore poker rooms, that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
Popular poker games that Australians try their hand at include:
- Texas Hold’em
- Casino Hold’em
- Stud and Draw Poker
Apart from the variety of poker games, these sites include other types of games such as blackjack and roulette as an alternative whenever you want to relax.
Australians also have access to a wealth of poker tournaments (again, provided they play at offshore poker rooms) and these include Sit & Go’s and guaranteed prize pot games with a multitude of different blinds, pots and buy-ins. Admittedly, Australian players will have a hard time gaining access to WSOP (World Series of Poker) satellites on account of them having to play at small-scale offshore poker rooms, which do not generally tend to offer such competitions.
Online Poker Australian Promos and Bonuses
On the upside, the types of poker sites that Aussies have open to them tend to offer considerable bonuses and promotions. Caution must be exercised when claiming these offers; Curacao licensed poker sites are known for their generous bonuses, but they do come with considerable wagering requirements.
This is because unlike other poker sites, the types of poker rooms accessible to Australians do not pay out their bonuses in instalments. These bonuses and promos may also require promotional bonus codes.
Available bonuses and promos for poker players in Australia include:
- Welcome bonuses and re-deposit deals
- Loyalty bonuses and VIP schemes
Depositing/Withdrawing Options Available To Australian Players
Fortunately, although the Australian authorities are cracking down on operators who provide access to poker rooms, they aren’t cutting off the banking system from authorising gambling payments. This means that Aussies can use a wide variety of banking options to deposit at their favourite poker rooms.
Popular poker payment methods include credit cards such as MasterCard and VISA. POLi is particular popular in Australia and is their own e-wallet. FlexePIN is another major option, although not every poker room accepts it. Paysafecard and PayPal are also particularly popular online poker payment methods for Australian players to use when playing poker online.
The variety of options is not a problem for these players, but their own currency is a different story. Most offshore poker sites which offer their services to Australian players are spread all over the world. This might serve players for extensive player traffic and inter-cultural exchanges, but it tends to push their currency out of the way. Thus, online poker rooms normally include a currency exchange option allowing Australian players to deposit their AUS dollars and exchange them for USD or the UK pound as more standard currencies.
The Future of Online Poker in Australia
Perhaps the most honest thing to say about the future of online poker in Australia would be to say, what future? Australia doesn’t seem to have one for online poker. On the upside, Australian players are still permitted to bet on poker games in land-based establishments (depending on the state they live in), and at least there are no punishments for Australian players frequently offshore poker rooms.
However, we cannot pretend that most Aussies are just going to keep on playing at offshore poker sites. Many of the leading poker rooms will (or already have) cut Aussie players from the picture, and that only leaves unregulated, untrustworthy and unsafe poker rooms. Sure, there will always be the odd online poker site brave enough to risk the fines from Australian authorities that will accept Australian players no matter the costs, but there won’t be many of them, and Australians will find it near impossible to locate those sites in the future.
Poker players across Australia (including many celebrity poker players) are urging poker fans to fight back. Gambling is a hugely popular enterprise in Australia, and make no mistake about, Australia loves the tax from gambling, so they’ll certainly ban gambling in general. Perhaps in the future, a liberal enough government will make the bold step to regulation an Australian poker industry, based on skills games, but for the time being, not a chance.
My Final Thoughts
Playing online poker in Australia is vexing and it is a challenge, but it is not impossible. There are more than enough good offshore poker sites out there which can offer their services to a player like you. You must exercise caution and find a poker site which is legitimate, but aside from that, you should be able to be picky with where you decide to sign up.
FAQs On Australian Online Poker You May Like To Know
No. Where possible, players try and play at licensed and regulated poker rooms. Admittedly, this is going to get a lot tougher for your average Australian online poker player (because of major poker sites pulling out of the market) but playing poker at an unlicensed and unregulated poker room is nothing short of madness. You have no idea what mechanisms are in place to work against you (such as rigged games, pirated games, obscene terms and conditions regarding bonuses, and failure to pay players). This is a risk which just isn’t worth taking, no matter how much you want to play online poker.
Yes, some sites allow you to play without anyone knowing your real identity. They would generate a random nickname and allow you to access any of your chosen games without anyone knowing.
Yes, most of the time. As mentioned, Australia lets its own states decide their own gambling laws in terms of land-based gambling. With land-based “pokie” gambling as high as ever before, Australian Governments aren’t going to interfere in this. Provided that your state of residence does permit poker gambling, and many do, then you can always play poker in land-based venues, and it is perfectly legal.
Actually, no. Australia has taken a hard stand on Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. This kind of rules out many of the bitcoin poker sites which are out there, if that’s what you were thinking. Still, even without bitcoins, there are ample choices for you to play when it comes to online poker.
Many Australian players are already signed up and regular players at offshore poker sites. Their future is very much up in the air. On the one hand, they may be able to continue playing at their chosen offshore poker sites for years to come. On the other, they may be about to be unceremoniously booted out and dumped by their operator.
Our advice would be the check with customer support. Contact customer services over your chosen offshore casino and ask them if they have any plans to leave the Australian market, or to prohibit Australian from playing at their domain. Some of them may be planning on sticking around, in which case, you should stay. After all, only the operator can be punished under Australia’s new amendment, not the players.
However, it is possible that you may receive (or already have received) a letter or an e-mail from your offshore poker site, advising you to leave as they will be departing from the Australian market. If this is the case (or customer support tells you that they’ll be shutting down services to Aussies in the future), we’d advocate taking out your winnings and closing your account as soon as possible. The earlier you leave a poker room which is departing the market, the more time you will have to find a new place to play which plans to stick around.
These poker sites offer all the possibilities when it comes to table limits and buy-ins. These range from free tables and freeroll tournaments to enormous fees in order to suit everyone’s bankroll.