More online casinos and games become unavailable to Australians

Land-based pokiesThe impending reforms set to change the Australian online gambling industry are continuing to push operators and developers out.

The list is growing longer with Fortune Lounge casinos, prominent software developer Microgaming, and Casino.com withdrawing from the Australian market.

Fortune Lounge casinos including Royal Vegas Casino, All Slots Casino, Platinum Play, Wintingo, and EuroPalace will no longer be accepting Australians from September 11, 2017.

From September 13, all Australian players’ accounts will be locked so we advise you to get your affairs in order and withdraw any remaining funds at these sites.

One of the oldest and best software developers in the gambling industry has also confirmed it will be withdrawing from the market. Microgaming which is behind some of the best pokies, table games, live dealer casino options and other titles will no longer be available to Australians.

While you may be able to play at an offshore online casino remaining in the Australian market which offers Microgaming games, you will not be able to play the titles as you will be geo-blocked.

Casino.com has also announced it will no longer be accepting new Australian players from August 31.

In an email sent to registered players, Casino.com indicated that registered players’ accounts are to be shut down completely as of Wednesday, September 13.

The email indicates that members “will receive a notification confirming the date after which they will no longer be able to deposit or play.”

“From this date, they will then be given an extra seven days to withdraw any remaining balance, before the sites cease operation and their accounts are completely and permanently closed,” the email reads.

The announcements are a result of the Interactive Gambling Amendment Act 2016 which received Assent on August 16. The legislation amends the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 and in effect prohibits offshore gambling operators from accepting Australian players.

The Act will come into effect on September 13, a few days before a special Senate Committee will hand down their findings regarding an online poker inquiry. The Australian Online Poker Alliance and the Internet poker community hoped the Senate would hold off passing the new reforms until the recommendations had been handed down.

PokerStars announced earlier this year that it would remain operational in the market until the very last minute. It has since announced it will be leaving in mid-September.

Our opinion: More poker machines at land-based venues, less poker online

The Australian Capital Territory recently passed legislation to allow 200 poker machines in the Canberra Casino, despite a long-standing ban.

The recent Senate hearing into the Participation of Australians in Online Poker resulted in a number of experts supporting the legalisation of poker. Deputy director of Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic, Dr Sally Gainsbury, explained that poker players report less harm than other gambling forms, including poker machines.

If online poker players switch to playing pokies at land-based venues, then the new laws will have increased the risks for players. This is despite claims from Senators who passed the Interactive Gambling Amendment Act that the new reforms have been established to protect Australians.

Unfortunately, the reasons why the reforms were passed aren’t as transparent as legislators claim them to be. What is clear is the Australian online gambling industry will be quite limited from September 13.

The online gambling laws differ around the world, with some countries taking a smart approach by regulating the industry and others making it unsafe by banning leading casino sites. There are several leading online casinos available to players from United States. We highly recommend Bovada Casino as the safest and the best online casino providing support for players from United States.