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Online Casino News - March, 2009

European Online Gaming Industry Updates


  Seed Newsvine

by Elizabeth Nguyen, News Staff Writer

March 20, 2009

In terms of legislation and regulation, one of the busiest sectors of the online gambling industry is the European facing sector. There's always something to report on, whether it be the launch or expansion of a new Euro online casino, updates to EU policies, or revised regulatory guidelines by European licensing jurisdictions. So, without further ado, let's get to the reporting, shall we?

Some of the more notable recent headlines to break in Europe have been moves by the Mediterranean island, Cyprus, to draft new online gambling regulations, as well as some major internal changes at the Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta.

Cyprus has long been associated with illegal gambling activities - both on land and over the internet. In fact, the problem is considered so large, it is estimated that over 2.5 billion is sucked from the Cyprus economy each year by illegal gambling activities. The reality of the situation is that Cypurs has become a hot spot for online gambling companies and their subsidiary eCommerce companies responsible for processing transactions with some of the most popular European online casinos in business today.

The irony of the situation is that Cyprus attempted to regulate online gambling back in 2004. However, due to suspicions that the drafters of the legislation were making prejudiced decisions based on their own personal "interests" in online gambling, the project was abandoned. Now, five years later, Cyprus is making another attempt to regulate - but with a long-shot provision that would make them exempt from EU regulations.

Over in Malta - also in the Mediterranean, but much further west and more European - things are very different. The Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) of Malta is widely considered one of the strictest jurisdictions in operation today. Whitelisted by the UK government, Malta has become one of the most sought after licensing jurisdictions by European online casino operators. And now, the Gaming Authority has a new CEO. Just last week, the LGA announced that Reuben Portanier will serve as CEO.

No stranger to the Maltese government, Portanier has served as a consultant and Information Officer, and has great experience with technology and management services and international auditing. He is being deemed an outstanding choice to head up the LGA. With a newly appointed Board of Directors and consolidated legislative framework, the LGA continues to lead the way in online gambling regulatory standards.



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