by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
Things are not looking up for the online casino industry. Along with the U.S. there is a multitude of overseas nations that are cracking down on the use of internet casino gambling. Norway and the Ukraine have both struggled to come to a final conclusion on its stance on gaming regulation.
While the Ukrainian government still allows its expanding online casino gaming industry to continue, they have announced their intentions to put certain restrictions on its advertising. These restrictions have apparently been designed to prevent the spread of under-aged gamers and there are strict penalties that have been put in place for sites that refuse to comply. These new policies strongly resemble those put in place by the UK that dictate the time and place when online casinos are permitted to advertise for their websites. Officials must give these sites special permission to advertise in newspapers, on billboards and on television. The good news is that the Ministry of Finance in the Ukraine is encouraging citizens to share their response to the new regulations that are to be put in place next month.
Norway, however, is more on the fence on the subject. Its government has been fighting for protectionist legislation with the European Commission prompting them to take a completely opposite action. The protectionist legislation seeks to keep Norway as an online casino monopoly, denying access for foreign gaming sites to state land. Currently state sponsored land does not control internet casino gambling, but has put more laws in effect to restrict land gambling. The idea is to allot a certain amount of time and money for gamers to use slots machines in order to prevent gambling addictions in its country. For this reason, Norway is seeking to keep out the online casino industry. The government will continue to monitors its citizens and restrict their playing time with the use of a pre-paid card that all of its land casinos must now use. Norwegian officials feel that online casinos will promote further gambling addictions in its country. The European Commission is pressuring Norway to comply with their free-trade policies. This does not promise to amount to much, as we have seen with the many World Trade Organization disputes with the U.S. With the recent gaming restrictions and attempts at protectionist legislation, it does not look like Norway will cave to the European Commission.
It is without wonder that the world over continues to turn its nose at the online gaming industry and the benefits that come with it. Gambling regulation has certainly become one of the leading international controversies. With all of the recent restrictions put in place by various countries, it seems that the venues to internet gamers will continue to dwindle. It is uncertain whether the international free-trade policies will ever be successfully enforced. There is still hope as the European Commission continues its struggle against nations that refuse to comply. There are also several sites and e-processors that are making further advancements to ensure gamers their rights to play.