Ignition Poker made the bold decision last week to start accepting players from Australia, one of the largest hotbeds of both live and online gambling activity in the world. There was no official press release from the company itself, but rather a generic email that was sent out to affiliates and other major iGaming media outlets alerting them of the news.
The move to open up to the Australian gambling market comes after a bit of controversy over Australia’s own iGaming laws, which were passed in the early 2000’s as a way to stop online gaming operators from accepting players from their country, were reviewed by legislators and amended several months ago to include harsher penalties and fines on operators still doing business there.
The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 is Revisited
Since the news of this amended version of the IGA made its rounds in the industry, many big-time operators like 888 Poker have bowed out of the country. Other poker brands and online casinos have followed suit, while other big names like Pokerstars are still biding their time and waiting on making a move until they know the full effects this bill might have on them.
The new bill, which is called the Interactive Gambling Act 2016, will supposedly deliver stiffer penalties to any online gambling operator accepting players in the country once the law goes into effect in 2017. This will most likely give many more operators less incentive to want to stay in Australia, which would of course into their overall yearly revenues and slash profits considerably.
Ignition Already Has a Small History of Defying Gaming Statutes
The IGA – which is similar to the UIGEA in America – is something that will not worry Ignition. It will only bolster their player base and they’ll be able to scoop up a nice market share of the poker community still looking for better options to play at.
Since Ignition still openly operates in the United States and accepts players from most states without legal online poker, this should be business as usual for them as far operating in Australia goes.
The “new and improved” IGA will not penalize players for playing at sites like Ignition so there will undoubtedly be a nice little rush of traffic and new signups that will be playing at the popular poker site.
This is a story we’ll be paying close attention to as 2017 comes to a close. One has to wonder if Australia will turn a blind eye to Ignition, much like legislators have in the United States – or if they’ll actually crack down on the company itself in the form of a swift financial penalty.