Australia changed the laws surrounding online gambling, back in 2017.
If you have a Full Tilt Poker or PokerStars account with some funds left in it, you might be wondering if Australians can still play for money.
Learn about the new laws regarding Australians ability to play online poker for real money. Find out how to get your money from your PokerStars or Full Tilt Poker accounts.
And, check out the best new online poker rooms that are open for Australian deposits.
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Why Can’t Aussies Play for Real Money on Full Tilt Poker?
Remember the good-old-days, when you wasted thousands playing poker on Full Tilt, deep into the night? Well, you can still waste all your time on Full Tilt Poker, but not your money. Australians can’t play for real money on Full Tilt Poker, anymore.
You can thank the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill for that one. The bill was introduced in 2016 and passed through the Senate to become law in August 2017. The bill makes it illegal to offer online gambling services for non-Australian licenced businesses.
The law is all about regulating and controlling the money being spent on gambling. Australia is one of the biggest gambling countries in the world. The Australian government passed the bill so that money spent on gambling stayed within the Australian economy.
Gambling providers that are licenced by the Australian state or territory are subject to federal taxes on the companies earnings. Out-of-country entities take money from Australians and don’t have to pay taxes to the Australian government.
So, if you are an Australian, you can only play poker for real money on a website run by an Australian business. But, unfortunately, the Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars days, of playing for real money, is over for Aussies.
Is Full Tilt Poker Owned by Pokerstars?
The laws around Australian online poker and gambling websites came a few years after “Black Friday” for poker sites. In 2011, Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker operated out of the United States and were the household names in online poker.
In fact, many players prefer Full Tilt Poker over PokerStars, for the high-quality graphics. But, on “Black Friday” the United States shut down domain access to Full Tilt, PokerStars, and Absolute due to a series of infractions.
Absolute Poker was shut down almost immediately. Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars regained their domain authority, which is why they are still around. But, between the two of them, one company came out ahead.
After the initial shutdown, PokerStars jumped on the opportunity to cooperate with the government to pay back their US customers quickly.
It became clear, however, that Full Tilt Poker was in dismal fiscal shape and could not pay the necessary fines. So, PokerStars took advantage of the situation.
PokerStars negotiated a settlement with the US government to acquire all the assets and intellectual property from Full Tilt Poker. In addition, PokerStars took on the entirety of Full Tilt Poker’s settlement debt. Today, Full Tilt Poker is under the ownership of PokerStars.
Can You Still Access Your Full Tilt Poker Account?
PokerStars is the owner and operator of Full Tilt Poker. Since PokerStars kept Full Tilt up and running your account is as safe as ever. The bummer for Aussies is that you can’t use the funds in your account to play real money poker, anymore.
The good news, however, is that your money and account info is safe and secure. And, you can retrieve any funds left in your Full Tilt Poker account, whenever you want. A cashier is standing by.
Log into your Full Tilt Poker account, the same as ever. You won’t be able to access the money games or join a real money table, but you’re free to play all the free-to-play poker you can handle.
When you’re ready to retrieve your poker funds back into your real money account just go to the cashier like normal. Do not, however, go to the cashier until you have claimed any rewards.
Tournament money and tickets are automatically converted into real money as soon as you click on the cashier.
What About StarsRewards?
Since PokerStars acquired Full Tilt Poker, the company added some features to the Full Tilt gameplay, like StarsRewards. StarsRewards work in Full Tilt or PokerStars, but only for merchandise.
But, you can pay $1 for a cash rebate that transposes all of your StarsRewards into real money.
Again–only go to the cashier after you have completed your cash rebate for your unused rewards. This goes for special chests and tickets, as well. Open all of your rewards before accessing the cashier page.
Once you receive your Full Tilt Poker funds back into your real money account, it’s time to choose one of the online poker room on which Australians are able to deposit and play.
Where Can You Play Online Poker for Real Money in Australia?
There are a lot of sites that offer online poker games for real money which are available to Australians. Too many, in fact. Careful of putting down a deposit on a site that is bound to flop.
Shortly after PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker exited the country in 2016, Ignition Poker came onto the Australian market. Ignition Poker took the opportunity to acquire the Australian customers that Stars and Full Tilt lost. And, it has worked out.
1. Ignition Poker and Casino
Ignition Poker and Ignition Casino are as reputable an online gambling establishment as it gets. The site went online for the United States market in 2016, and extended services to Australia around a year later. Today, it is the largest online poker room in Australia.
You can feel safe putting a deposit down on Ignition Poker since it is part of the Bodog Group. The Bodog Group is the largest conglomerate of online poker providers and is owned by the PaiWangLuo Network.
The PaiWangLuo Network has owned and operated online gambling establishments for over 10 years.
Ignition Poker provides hold’em, stud, and Omaha poker games–as well as some popular new versions of poker. You can play on cash tables in ring games or a variety of sit-and-goes tables.
And, of course, Ignition offers a regular schedule of high-guarantee tournament games.
As a perk, you accrue rewards for Ignition Casino as you play poker. Ignition is Bitcoin-friendly and offers smaller minimums and larger maximum deposits for cryptocurrency. But, you can also make a deposit the old fashioned way, with a debit or credit card.
The minimum amount you can deposit on Ignition Poker with a credit or debit card is $20. Ignition does not allow credit or debit card deposits of more than $1,500.
For those depositing with Bitcoin, the minimum is $10 and the maximum is $5,000. Bitcoin is especially cost-saving if you are depositing a larger amount of money because there are no fees.
For all cards, except Amex, the deposit fee is 5.9%. For deposits using American Express credit or debit cards, the fee is 9.9%. When you are depositing $1,000, a nearly 10% fee is quite a bit of money.
2. Bodog88 Poker
Bodog88 Poker is, also, a part of the Bodog Group. Bodog Poker started in the United States and Canada. Eventually, Bodog88 Poker was created to serve some Asian markets, as well as Australian poker players. Bodog88 is a legally licenced poker room in Australia.
The gameplay and options are very similar to Ignition Poker, plus some additional features. Bodog88 Poker allows access to sportsbook and casino games. In fact, you can take a break from the table to sit down with a live dealer for a hand of blackjack.
If you’re looking to replace the Full Tilt Poker experience, Bodog88 Poker is a good fit. The interface and gameplay follow best practices for the online poker industry.
Both, Ignition Poker and Bodog88 Poker feature a clean, responsive gameplay experience.
You can fast-fold and multi-table, just like Full Tilt Poker. And, Bodog88 Poker offers Zoom-Poker mode. In Zoom-Poker, players automatically sit at a new table with new cards as soon as they fold.
And, unlike Ignition, Bodog88 Poker enables deposits with Bitcoin Cash, as well as Bitcoin and credit cards. It even features a deposit method that’s just for Aussies using an Astropay prepaid debit card. Bodog88 Poker gives a 100% match bonus up to $1,000 on first-time deposits.
Bodog88 Poker and Ignition Poker are great replacements for Full Tilt Poker.
But, if you want an Australian online poker room that offers higher stakes, check out BlackChip Poker. BlackChip offers ring games with blinds as high as $50/$100.
So, don’t stress the loss of Full Tilt. Instead, make a deposit with a new fresh-face on the Australian poker scene. And, remember, poker is about having fun–and making money!
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And check out the blog for more information on Australian online poker. Thanks for reading!