Monday, January 4, 2010

Online Gaming Legislation

Though various Legal bodies around the world have tried to keep an open mind about online gaming legislation it will be a matter of time before it is fully and willingly accepted. The legality of online gaming is still debated upon with each country expressing their respective views on this sensitive topic.

online-gaming-legislationOn 28th June 2000 the Australian Government introduced its own online gaming legislation as the Interactive Gambling Bill which made it illegal for any foreign and interactive gambling service providers to offer their product to Australian residents. It also makes it illegal for any Australian based online casino to offer its product to Australian residents. However, it does allow Australian licensed online sports books, race betting and lottery sites to offer their product to Australian and international customers.

In the European Union views are different as all EU Member States are bound to observe the provisions set out in the European Communities Treaty. It therefore makes it illegal for a Member State to prohibit residents from accessing a service provided by operators from other Member State, where that same service is able to be provided by local operators. A Member State with accepts locally licensed online gambling operations (e.g. state lottery etc) in its online gaming legislation cannot try to block foreign providers of the same service.

In April 2009, 10 Member States, including France and Germany have been the subject of European Commission infringement proceedings.  The French Government had planned in March 2009 to enact proposed laws that will regulate and tax internet gambling. 

UK's position is set out in the enacted Gambling Act 2005, the directives of which came into effect on September 2007.  The new Act provides a single, all encompassing piece of law to cover all forms of gambling in the United Kingdom. Key provisions of the act relevant to internet gambling termed as "Remote Gambling" in the Act, include casinos, sports betting, poker rooms and any other form of real money wagering online. It states that any operator of a Remote Gambling Service who has any piece of Remote Gambling Equipment (e.g. servers) located in the UK must obtain a license from the UK Gambling Commission. Also operators of Remote gambling services from outside the UK are free to offer their product to UK residents provided they are complying with the licensing requirements of the jurisdiction in which the service is hosted. Nothing in the online gaming legislation makes it illegal, or seeks to prevent, British residents gambling on the internet in their own homes. Remote gambling operators from EEA (European Economic Area) countries and Gibraltar can advertise within Great Britain. In addition, operators from within jurisdictions granted white listing status can also advertise within the UK.

The SAFE Port act has online gaming legislation as part of its sections. Another significant act is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). The SAFE Port Act signed by George W. Bush in Oct 2006 primarily introduced to protect the Security of the United States’ Sea Ports contains a Title VIII - Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, Sections 802 and 803 which amends the federal criminal code to prohibit persons engaged in the business of betting or wagering from knowingly accepting credit, or the proceeds of credit, electronic fund transfers, checks, drafts, or similar financial instruments or the proceeds of any other financial transaction in connection with unlawful Internet gambling, this prohibition is defined by this Act as a "restricted transaction" and Imposes a fine and/ prison term of up to five years for violations. Section 803 Calls upon the U.S. government, in deliberations with foreign governments, to encourage cooperation by foreign governments in identifying whether internet gambling operations are being used for money laundering, corruption, or other crimes, advance policies that promote international cooperation in enforcing this Act, and encourages the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering to study the extent to which Internet gambling operations are being used for money laundering purposes.

Similarly numerous countries have either formulated their own online gaming legislation or adopted policies of other countries. Whichever way we choose to look at it online gaming is here to stay it’s just a mater of whether we choose to accept or reject it.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Here in Italy there are many authorized Poker Rooms .it, but in fact no restriction is on any other (.com)

    As regards live Tournaments, the situation is very confuse, no casinos and neither a well defined rule for many clubs hosting live Texas Hold'em in Italy.

  3. ur site is very impressive and good.

  4. Legality of online poker and gambling is still a big doubt in player's mind from around the world. To clear the smoke , I have also written a similar blog adressing the similar issue.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner