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Can You Play Online Poker in Australia?


Online poker operators are prohibited from offering their services to Australian players, but individual players can still access offshore platforms to play online poker. The Australian government’s Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill of 2016 reinforced the prohibition on offshore operators, but ongoing discussions indicate the possibility of future regulation.

play online poker in Australia

Understanding the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001

To comprehend the legality of online poker in Australia, we must familiarize ourselves with the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) of 2001. This legislation prohibits online gambling operators from offering real money interactive gambling services to Australian residents.

Prohibition on Online Poker Operators

The IGA prohibits online poker operators from providing their services to Australian players. This means online poker platforms cannot legally operate within Australia’s jurisdiction or advertise their services to Australian residents.

Playing on Offshore Platforms

While online poker operators are prohibited from offering services to Australians, individual players can still access offshore platforms to play poker. The IGA does not criminalize playing on these platforms, allowing Australian players to participate in online poker games hosted by offshore providers.

Player Protections and Regulations

It’s important to note that not all offshore platforms are created equal. Australian players should exercise caution and choose reputable and licensed online poker sites that prioritize player protection. Trusted platforms typically hold licenses from reputable regulatory bodies and implement secure and fair gaming practices.

Recent Changes: The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016

In 2016, the Australian government introduced the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill, which aimed to strengthen online gambling regulations. The bill included provisions prohibiting offshore gambling operators from providing online poker services to Australian players.

The Impact of the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill

The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill effectively reinforced the prohibition on online poker operators targeting the Australian market. Although the legislation primarily targeted offshore providers, it also impacted some reputable platforms that withdrew their services from the Australian market to comply with the new regulations.

Ongoing Discussions: Potential for Regulation

It’s worth mentioning that discussions surrounding the regulation of online poker in Australia have been ongoing. Various industry stakeholders, including players, operators, and policymakers, continue to debate the potential benefits of a regulated online poker market. While no concrete steps have been taken, the topic remains open for future consideration.


The legality of playing online poker in Australia can be complex. While online poker operators are prohibited from targeting Australian players, individuals can still access offshore platforms to participate in online poker games. Players must exercise caution and choose reputable, licensed sites prioritising player protection.

As an Australian player, staying informed about the legal landscape surrounding online poker is important. Keeping up with any changes or developments in regulations will help ensure a safe and enjoyable online poker experience.

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