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Court in Israel Says No to Online Casino

Israelis are used to the unexpected. The saying ‘you can’t tell what tomorrow brings’ gets a whole new meaning in Israel. That’s why you would expect that Israelis to be deep into online gambling, the virtual realm of the unexpected. Things are far from that. Just Now, an Israeli District Court in Tel Aviv upheld a lower court finding that says online gambling firms that target Israelis are breaking the law. The case involved Michael Carlton, Chief Executive Officer of the Victor Chandler casino webpage. The Gibraltar-based Victor Chandler online casino is one of the most popular gambling sites in Israel.

Apparently, it doesn’t matter that the firm isn’t listed in Israel or that it doesn’t operate from within Israel. The only thing that matters is that the firm targets Israeli citizens. Offering online gambling to Israelis is illegal and the court doesn’t matter who is offering it or from where. Michael Carlton was first approached in Israel in relation to online gambling business and had to pay a $70,000 in guarantees as a condition to leave the country. Israel currently operates a state lottery that regulates sports gambling, among other things, so gambling per se is legal in Israel. Casino houses, on the other hand, are far from legal and the Israeli law looks at online gambling as virtual casino houses.

A new suggestion to censor certain sites is being debated in Israel, but is expected to raise much objection. Possibly, a law that prohibits censorship might open the door for online gambling in Israel. Other political initiatives are speaking about regulating private gambling in Israel, and that too might be the saving bell for gambling fans in Israel. The law in Israel is not clear about what ‘gambling’ really is and there are other sites that offer backgammon gambling and other skill-based games for people who love casino action.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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