Italy Aims to Block 500 Off-Shore Online Casinos
The Italian authorities have recently instituted a ban on online casinos access from its territory, focusing on offshore online casinos. In response to this ban, British online gaming committees are pushing the European Commission to pressure Italy into annulling the ban. The Remote Gambling Authority, which represents the interests of the online casinos and others in the gambling industry, is seeking legal advice for ways to fight the Italian ban.
Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance has adopted a ban which aims to fine any ISPs that allow access to online casinos operated from outside of the country. The Italian Finance Act, which went into effect in January 2006, threatens to fine any ISP up to $210,000 every time they allowed a gambler to play at ‘blacklisted’ online casinos. To make this decree more effective, the authorities demanded that the ISPs literally block up to 500 off-shore online casinos.
Even though the European Commission’s laws do allow a country to ban cross-border goods and services because of moral concerns, it may not ban the online casinos out of fear of economic competition. The RGA is calling on the EC to invalidate this ruling because it claims that it is the Italian citizens that will suffer from a lack of competition in the online casinos market. The next moves of the RGA are expected to happen towards the end of February.