Exodus from Australia Continues with 888pokerPublished January 16, 2017 by Ivan P
888poker withdraws from the Australian market in light of expected changes to the gambling regulation in the country.
888poker is ceasing its operation in Australia today. Australian players were sent email notifications, explaining their accounts will become suspended as of today, Monday, January 16.
The move doesn't come as a surprise as it's been in the cards for a while now, ever since Australian officials announced their plans to change existing gaming laws, creating a hostile environment for foreign companies. Another gaming giant, Vera&John Casino, was the first to bid farewell to their players Down Under late last year, and more exits are expected to come shortly.
Playing It Safe
After Australia had announced they'd be introducing amendments to the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001, many online gambling companies realized that exiting the market is their best strategy for the time being.
All businesses without proper Australian licenses accepting wagers from country's residents will be subject to severe fines, up to AU$6.75 million. Additionally, executives of the said companies could face prospects of being arrested upon entering the territory of Australia.
It is expected more companies will follow the suite, leaving Australia until they've had time to reconsider their strategies. One of these is Amaya, the gaming giant behind the best-known online poker brand PokerStars.
Although Amaya hinted at the possibility of leaving the market soon, given the fact Australia accounts for a significant percentage of total players on the site (around 2.5%), the company will probably stick around for as long as possible before pulling out just in time to avoid penalties.