BREAKING NEWS: Cards (up) in the air as NSW authorities ban all live poker games

The struggling Australian poker industry has been dealt another brutal blow with authorities in New South Wales ruling card games to be in breach of public health orders.

Poker leagues across the state announced this afternoon that all live games have been suspended until further notice, the directive coming somewhat ironically on the same day NSW recorded just one new case of COVID-10 – its lowest number in 50 days

Early Friday afternoon, the National Poker League (NPL) issued a statement revealing they had been working with the NSW licensing police and Australian Hotels Association. According to the latest advice received, the organisation said it had been told to pause all live poker events immediately.

The Australian Poker League (APL) issued a similar statement, cancelling all games as of midnight tonight or find itself in breach of NSW health orders.

“We are currently working with both peak industry groups (ClubsNSW and the AHA), as well as other major poker providers to get a clear guideline of running poker events in NSW and hope to have a framework for running live poker events that satisfies the public health order,” the APL said.

This latest mandate appears to conflict with a previous ruling by NSW Health under which operators were allowed to host events provided social distancing measures were in place, specifically the “four square metre rule” applicable to pubs and clubs.

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