While PokerNews has been unable to confirm the exact reason for the timing of this from 888poker, it is believed to be due to the proposed amendment to the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 that some expect to pass in Australia in the near future. If passed, the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 mandates that online gaming operators offering services to Australian residents secure local licenses or face steep fines as high as A$6.75 million ($5.05 million).
Unlike gaming regimes in other countries, individuals can also face heavy punishment if the bill is passed, with fines up to A$1.35 million ($1.01 million) per day.
Australian poker players have been active on social media and poker forums, expressing their concern after 888poker pulled out of the country’s market, with many asking the poker community to petition legislators to vote against the bill amendment.
A few months ago, the world’s largest online poker room PokerStars expressed its concern over the bill. Amaya Inc., the parent company of PokerStars, said during an investor call in November that the company would also leave the market if the bill becomes law.
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