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Online Casino News - April, 2008

Italy Online Gambling Laws Criticized by EGBA and More



  Seed Newsvine

by Mira Patel, News Staff Writer

April 20, 2008

As the Italian government gets one step closer to legalizing online gambling and liberalizing it's internet betting industry, the European Commission has issued formal comments on the legislative draft to regulate and enforce online gambling laws for Italy-facing online casinos and wagering websites.

A critical point in these comments are concerning protective measures for players, which both the European Gaming and Betting Association and the Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority have likewise commented on. Following Malta's Detailed Opinion, in which concerns were expressed, that essentially call for amendments in the legislation, the EGBA has recently published a statement of their own.

EGBA Secretary General, Sigrid Ligne, took such criticism even further by stating that even if Italy does indeed amend its legislation to meet European Union cross-border laws, the statement issued by the European Commission suggests that the legislation would still fall short of "public order interest".

In other words - as the EGBA puts it - the legislation needs to adopt the protective measures being utilized by online casinos and betting sites licensed inother EU States, such as those UK online casinos meeting the strict standards imposed by the UK Gambling Act.

Specifically, it's the decree that requires foreign online betting operators to connect to a centralized IT system that the EGBA says imposes additional restrictions, that while serving to prevent criminal activities, is more costly and unnecessary than the current technological measures successfully employed in other EU States. Another objectionable issue brought up are the extreme restrictions imposed on specific games, which essentially curbs competition from outside operators.



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