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Some European Countries Say No to Online Gambling

By: Rick Balding, Monday April 4th 2011
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Many of the larger European countries are in various stages of having a competitive regulated online gambling set up in place. But there are some European countries that are not only resisting this trend but are even going all out to eliminate online gambling from their jurisdictions. Some of these countries have been in the news this last week.

In Cyprus the legislature is struggling to get the bill banning online gambling passed in Parliament. Meanwhile the executive has swung into action raiding online gambling operations. At the end of the last week the police raided three premises. According to reports in the Cyprus Mail large sums of money, computer equipment, deactivated firearms and title deeds were confiscated in the raids. The owner of one of the three premises was charged and later released. Two foreign nationals were also arrested. Justice Minister Loucas Louca said warnings had been issued a few months ago that these raids would start. He added, "We hope that parliament finally passes the relevant bill so as to offer the police further ammunition to radically deal with this phenomenon, which has turned into a social problem."

In Poland the government has maintained its anti-online gambling stance by releasing a draft amendment to its gambling legislation that confirms bans on all forms of online gambling, with the exception of sports betting. The draft law advocates tough punitive measures against illegal and unlicensed online gambling operators and also those within Poland who facilitate or encourage online gambling activity at unauthorized sites. Deputy Finance Minister Jacek Kapita told local media that according to him the amended law could be in place as soon as June 2011, following further discussion and legislative debate in parliament. Poland had first banned online gambling in 2009. In 2010 the Polish government was considering Internet censorship through ISPs, but had to back off in the face of fierce international protests.

In the Netherlands, the new government has declared its intent to regulate and license online gambling, going against previously declared policy. But in the interim it is determined to eliminate unlicensed and illegal online gambling sites operating in the Dutch market. As per reports last week in Dutch News NL, junior justice minister Fred Teeven disclosed that banks in the Netherlands will shortly be given a blacklist of illegal online gambling sites with which they should refuse to transact. He hoped that banks would comply by rejecting credit card transactions made with the illegal online gambling sites. The news agency ANP pointed out that the individual banks will have the legal right to decide whether they want to follow or ignore the government request. The names of the online gambling sites that will be on the list have not been made public.

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Comment by: JoeAdams On: April 05, 2011
However, behind some of these European countries banning online, Spain is out there making its way to be the next European country to regulate online gambling.

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