Australian State Decides Poker is Illegal Outside of Casinos

November 30, 2023 | Legal

HOBART, Tasmania (November 29, 2023) — According to local media reports the Australian Poker League (APL) has faced temporary suspension of its operations in venues across Tasmania by the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission (TLGC). The league, known for organizing poker games nationwide, including at prominent locations like Wrest Point Casino and various pubs and clubs, announced the suspension on its Facebook page.

According to the league’s statement, the suspension is due to the TLGC’s advice that the APL must change its current format. The league acknowledged ongoing communication with the commission over the past few months and expressed the intention to assess the situation and respond accordingly. They referred to it as a “temporary pause” and mentioned an anticipation of returning soon.

Treasurer Michael Ferguson provided insight into the situation, stating that the TLGC had given advice to poker tournament operators on how to lawfully conduct tournaments to ensure their continued operation. The commission’s review was prompted by a complaint, and it found that some current practices may not comply with the Gaming Control Act of 1993.

According to Ferguson, poker games or tournaments involving prizes can legally take place in hotels and clubs as long as no fee or cost to participate is charged, and no money or anything of value is wagered by players. The review identified instances where a cost of entry was effectively being charged, which may not be compliant with the Gaming Control Act. The Act specifies that only a licensed casino operator can run a poker game or tournament involving wagering of money or charging an entry fee.

In summary, the suspension appears to be a response to concerns raised by the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming.

View/download Conducting Poker Games in Tasmania Fact Sheet – Current August 2023.pdf

SOURCE: Online News Services.

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