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Italy Liberalizes Internet Betting Market

29 November 2010 by admin

italy-vacation-packagesThere is a lot of bad news in the online gambling industry right now regarding the closing of markets. With Cyprus looking to ban internet gambling, Kentucky pushing forward with their lawsuit, and Poland trying to go after players for gaming online, it’s nice to get some good news. Thank you, Italy, for doing that.

Since they legalized online gambling back in 2007, Italy has had one of the largest markets in Europe. However, that market has been very closed, with only the state-run monopolies – chiefly the National Horse Breeders Enhancement Society and the Italian Olympic Committee – legally offering bets to Italian citizens. The country did not allow players to gamble at foreign online casinos. Not only was playing at overseas online casinos banned, but the government blocked all foreign casino websites. That policy put them at odds with European Union rules, though, and the nation was then targeted by the European Commission.

After a series of lengthy cases and hearings, the Commission ruled that Italy’s restrictions were not in compliance with EU rules. Instead of continuing to fight, as some countries have opted to do, Italy then amended their gambling laws. The new regulations allow more competition. Overseas gambling websites are able to obtain gambling licenses from the Italian Gaming Authority and those who are licensed can legally operate in the country. Those who are not licensed will have their websites blocked. While I am against the government blocking websites they do not like, the fact that they are unblocking those who can obtain a license is a step in the right direction.

Any overseas gambling operator who obtains a license to operate in Italy will then be subject to Italian gaming authorities as well as local laws. The Italian government feels that directly overseeing the online casinos is the best way to protect their citizens from disreputable companies. Of course, unlike the myth of unregulated online casinos, most gambling websites are actually regulated already by the government in which they reside was well as by private regulators. Still, Italy feels more comfortable allowing online gambling if they have a tight control over it. Though that may not be ideal for the player or for the gambling operators, it will have to do for now.

2 Responses to “Italy Liberalizes Internet Betting Market”

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  2. claire jacobs says:

    whew! That was very overwhelming to hear. Let’s just pray that online gambling will be legalized in our state soon.