In Australia recently there has been an independent study on illegal poker in the country. This study has actually revealed that there are just fewer than 130,000 players playing the game illegally online. This means that US based poker operators are making a huge profit of around $68 million every year.
Online gambling in Australia has been made illegal due to the Australian gambling law; this includes betting on any types of casino games and more importantly poker.
However, due to increased pressure the government has decided to issue an interim review of its current online gambling laws, in fact the government is now ready to recommend that online poker games become legal.
It is in fact still illegal in Australia as we speak, yet there is nothing in place that can stop offshore gambling sites offering their services to Australian players. Back in 2010 a research group called Academicon which are based in Germany did study on the situation and revealed that there are in fact 129,714 Australians that are continuing to play poker online, and generating at the very least 68 million in revenue for poker sites based in the US.
Ingo Fiedler who was one of the researchers involved from Hamburg University said “All of our advice is strongly based on our period of academic research combined with our objective data, a key advantage for our reports are that we have no stake in any form of the gambling industry. It is no secret that most industry reports involving online gambling will completely overestimate the prevalence as well as market size due to their own lobbying reasons”
Dr. Feidler founded that most of the Australian betters were playing small stakes poker online. He added” If a person was to become addicted to slot machines, they would be highly likely to also play online poker, and vice versa”
In response to the study, the public health expert from The Monash University, Charles Livingstone has admitted that he is far from surprised with the figures that have been announced, though he concludes that that number has probably increased since the report. “The data is extremely useful in any event; however it is probably not useful as a good source to gauge overall prevalence or accurate figures of expenditure”
There is still strong opposition to the gambling laws in Australia being changed to legalize online poker, especially from the opposition government. In particular Nick Xenophon from the opposition has made it extremely clear that he is totally against any moves to make any form of internet gambling legal.
We will be sure to keep you all informed on the saga, and whether or not poker can once again become illegal for all Australians out there.