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Ladbrokes: Online Poker in Australia Very Bad

Written by:
Alistair Prescott
Published on:
May/15/2009
Online Poker Australia

According to the Interactive Gambling Act, online poker sites geared towards Australian citizens is illegal.  Don't tell that to companies like Ladbrokes, which are reluctant to enter the U.S. market but seem to have no qualms targeting Aussies.

Ladbrokes could face a hefty fine:  Up to $1.1 million per day.

The Sunday Age emailed Ladbrokes this week asking if it was true that Australians were prohibited from playing poker for money through their internet site.

In reply, "Matt", a poker agent for Ladbrokes multi-player poker, said: "We have no legal restrictions for customers playing from Australia and I can confirm that you are able to use any of our online facilities."

Another potential Australian customer was told by "Dean", Ladbrokes' poker manager: "May I be the first to welcome you to Ladbrokes Poker. Good luck at the tables."

Online gambling firms based outside the country are not permitted by law to take bets from those "physically present in Australia" since 2001. 

The legislation is under review by the Productivity Commission, and is widely considered to be bad law, because Australian courts cannot enforce penalties against overseas companies.

Ladbrokes' London management confirmed in January that the company was interested in the $750 million TAB wagering licence for Victoria, which is currently run by Tabcorp and is due to go to tender in 2012, according to the report. An Isle of Man registered site, PokerStars also responded to an email, saying it did not condone play in places where it was illegal, but added: "I can tell you that we have quite a few Australian players on our site."

Alistair Prescott, Gambling911.com

 

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