Norway's Doors Slammed Shut on GamblingPublished December 20, 2008 by OCR Editor
Norway has spoken: online gambling is illegal. Fury and confusion are rife and the question prevails, how will this affect Norway's standing in the EU?
It seems like Norway may be following in the footsteps of the United States following a recent law making online gambling illegal for all residents and citizens of the country.
Following the UIGEA lead, initiated by the U.S. Government in 2006, bankers in Norway are calling the new law unworkable and economically foolish in view of the failure to take advantage of the US' exit from the global gaming market.
Civil libertarians (not people who work in libraries, but who are of a liberal political inclination) are horrified at the violation of their and other citizens' rights.
What is actually illegal?
Only state-owned gambling, such as the lottery, is legal. Everything else is not.
Citizens may not deposit any monies into online gambling websites and banks who "assist" the sites, i.e., taking and processing transactions, are considered to be breaking the law and can be held accountable for their actions.
Doesn't this violate some rules of the European Union (EU)?
This new ruling by the Norwegian government may damage the resolutions that are being put forth for all EU countries to adopt the same regulations and laws under a blanket effect.
Already, the Remote Gaming Alliance has filed a formal complaint with the European Free Trade Association to bring attention to this fact.
However, with this being done, it seems that Norway will have the same problems as the United States in the near future. Those being that players will still play, but just not with their own countries' gaming sites. Also, various gaming sites are willing to take the risk of prosecution in the future by continuing to provide Norwegians with online gambling services.
Could this be a sign of what is to come for the European Union as a whole?