How White is the White ListPublished August 19, 2007 by OCR Editor
The UK's efforts to regulate the online gambling industry smells of protectionism. But time will tell as non-European countries may join the White List of those allowed to advertise online casinos to the English.
What is behind the White List? How does a country or territory get on it? Is it really white or merely whitewashed? Such questions concern casino operators, world governments and individual gamblers all. Here are some answers.
White Label countries, those included on the list, who will be allowed to advertise online casinos in the UK under the new bill, are mainly members of the European Union. This raises some suspicion by the industry, for the UK seems to have taken the easy way, avoiding confrontation with EU members, for it can face counter measures by the hands of EU authorities.
The European Court could find the UK faulting in unfair practices. Hence the White List including the UK's fellow European member countries. Those left out are not as happy, though. With no immediate legal check on a ban on such overseas countries, UK protectionism can take effect.
The White List, as of today, includes: the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and Alderney. The Netherlands Antilles has been excluded.
Yet, Antigua and Barbuda, of the most established, long active countries to permit online gambling are optimistic and expect the UK to include them on the White List. Whether they make it or not will be a litmus test regarding the UK motivation - honest regulatory efforts or sheer protectionism.