BUSINESS

Europe milking Online Gaming’s udders

TAGs: european gambling regulation, Iceland, Moldova, romania, US gambling regulation

Moldova and Romania became the latest in a long line of countries to announce they will regulate online gambling in their country as the economies of almost all the countries in the EU look to rebuilt what was lost during the fiscal crisis that swept through much of the continent. If only the UK had gambling regulation to bail it out too. Some countries, such as France, have put in place extremely stringent regulations but at least they’re there in the first place, but it’s the country that was quite possibly the worst affected which provides the most interesting of developments.

First port of call is Iceland. Now you’d be forgiven for being a hater when it comes to the island in the North Sea. Here’s the scenario: you get to the airport, ready to take off for your dream holiday in the Caribbean for two weeks when you, and no other plane can fly, all down to a bloody volcano in Iceland. Didn’t they go completely bankrupt recently too? Damn straight.

It may surprise people when they hear that the recently announced Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), which was unanimously passed by parliament, could become the latest safe-haven for online gaming. The recently announced Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI) was unanimously passed by the country’s parliament. The initiative, which is helping Iceland to be dubbed as the home of free speech, may inadvertently help online gaming companies, in addition to pornographic websites. Hurrah!

Can you really trust any money that you keep in Iceland? Well the country is pretty much as low as it can be, and in order to rebuild it people and companies will need to instil the international community’s confidence back in the country. If anyone can do it, online gambling firms can, and it will be interesting to see what effect it has when it’s finally passed.

Elsewhere in Europe, the fact that countries on the Eastern side of the continent are adopting new regulations is a

Brighter times ahead for Iceland?

very encouraging step in the right direction. The countries in this part of the world are, in many cases, still developing meaning that even though this is often reported as a bad thing, developing doesn’t mean in a negative way. When sports clubs develop new talent it’s not completely lambasted by the press at the first opportunity, so the fact that they’re developing shouldn’t be a put off to online gambling. It won’t have passed them by that the reason it’s being regulated is because it already exists, and they just want to cream off tax money. If only America could do the same…

That’s where it’s starting to get interesting over there too though.

Pressure’s been present for months, but there’s not been bona-fide lobbying by an online gaming company until now. Full-Tilt poker has urged all its players to ‘Stand Up for Poker’ and put increased force on their local officials to back the controversial poker bill which would see online poker permitted in the USA.

In the coming weeks and months it will be interesting to see whether Americans will get full access to legalised poker sites, but they could do worse than follow the lead of the Europeans.

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