Senator Nick Xenophon Aims to Ban Social Gambling For Australians

Posted at 09:30 2013-01-16 by Matthew Pitt

Senator Nick Xenophon is looking to introduce legislation next month that will see all social casino games on the social network site, Facebook banned. Xenophon hopes to change the law so these games are classified as gambling.

Xenophon, who in the past has been described as an anti-gambling crusader, appears to have Facebook firmly in his sights. Social casinos are currently exempt from the Australian Interactive Gaming Act 2001 (IGA), but this latest move by Xenophon aims to change that fact and have them banned.

The IGA bans the offer of online poker, casino and in-play betting, though it is not illegall for Australians to participate in these activities. Currently, gambling games on social networking sites do not fall under the IGA, but Xenophon argues all such games should be labelled as “gambling services” if a person can lose actual money by playing them. This is thought to include games where players can purchase additional credits.

The news will be a major blow to a number of companies who have plans to launch real-money poker on Facebook. In late 2012, Zynga – owners of the popular play-money poker site on Facebook – revealed they had partnered with bwin.party to offer real-money poker; possibly via Facebook. Other sites with plans to launch products on Facebook include 888poker and the yet-to-be-launched IveyPoker.com who Jackie Glazier is now sponsored by.

Xenophon hopes to push this legislation through in February, when the Federal Parliament returns.

PokerNetwork will watch for developments in this story and report back with any findings we make.

Lead image courtesy of Herald Sun.

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