Poker Banned Outside of Casinos in Tasmania
A ban on poker outside licensed casinos has been officially introduced in the Australian state of Tasmania. This concerns any form of live poker that is played for real money, prizes or other rewards. The ban is a major blow to poker players in Tasmania, as several poker clubs are forced to close their doors.
On Wednesday, November 22, Tasmania’s Department of Finance updated the rules with support of the local regulator Tasmanian Liquor & Gaming Commission (TLGC). The new rules proved to be a huge setback for poker in the Australian state, as there has since been a ban on organising or playing poker outside of licensed casinos.
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Reserved For Licenced Casinos Only
The rules state that from now on, only legal casinos are allowed to offer poker if money or other rewards are wagered. All other operators, such as poker clubs, are now prohibited from offering poker.
“Apart from a licensed casino operator, a legal poker game can only be played if there is no cost to participate and the players participate primarily ‘for fun’.”
Tasmania Ministry of Finance
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Three Poker Clubs Expected To Close
In Tasmania, Australia’s smallest state, there has long been a ban on poker with cash buy-ins outside legal casinos. Poker clubs and private games in pubs managed to get around this ban by allowing players to buy merchandise as a buy-in. However, the Tasmanian Liquor & Gaming Commission (TLGC) is said to have received inside information about this workaround, which is why they decided to update the rules with a total ban on poker outside of casinos. The rules now clearly state that poker is illegal if an operator requires players to participate in a poker game and:
- Purchase a product from the operator.
- To pay registration, either as a one-off or periodic membership fee.
- To pay the registration fee in any way, shape or form.
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Is Live Poker Allowed in New Zealand?
In New Zealand, private poker games where players wager real money are allowed with many of the same rules applied as in Tasmania. Only licensed land-based casinos can offer live poker games to their visitors. Outside of these casinos, the current Gambling Act generally prohibits commercial operators making a profit from offering games by taking a stake of each hand. Online poker and live dealer poker are allowed in New Zealand, as long as these games are played on gambling sites that are operated offshore. It is recommended to stick to online casino websites that hold a European gambling licence. Most of these casinos offer online casino bonuses with full or partial validity for poker.
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