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New World Order for Online Casino Industry in Europe

The online casino world is going in two very different paths. On one hand, the European community is starting to realize that online gambling has a huge potential financially, and many governments are considering online casino regulations. On the other hand, some of the countries are against online casino gambling, and prefer to promote other gambling platforms rather than the online one. Russia is one of those countries. Two weeks ago, the State Duma, the lower parliament of the country, passed a bill that once signed by the Russian president will ban online gambling by law. The new bill divides Russia to four gambling zones and bans online casino gambling and online poker.

The United States has already introduced online casino legislation and the impact on the online gambling world is yet to be calculated. Many of the top brands had already left the U.S. market, and Europe is the next destination of the online casino industry. Russia has one of the biggest online markets in Europe, and such a law will make the online casino industry highly uncomfortable. The bill, if passed, will become valid starting 2009, and will make internet casino gambling in Russia illegal. President Putin was the one who ordered the formation of the bill, and he is expected to sign it into law.

While Russia is doing its best to keep the online casino world outside of the country, other European nations are adopting online casino gambling like never before. Italy has announced not long ago, that gambling licenses will be auctioned and that operators can get an Italian permit to run online casino and online poker sites for the Italian people. Italy was one of the strongest objectors to the internet gambling world, but the government realized that regulation the industry will benefit both the citizens who love their online gambling, and the government that will enjoy a take in the earnings. Hopefully by 2007, the industry will generate such revenue that Russia will not want to be kept out of the loop, and the bill will not be validated.

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.