Many Operators Offer Services Illegally To Citizens In Various States

14 November 2012 – By Jane Spiegel

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Spain and Greece are two of the most important countries in the European Union when it comes to online casinos. Recently, the designated online gambling regulators in those two member states have decided and announced their intent to clamp down on online casino operators that are providing services illegally to their citizens.

In Spain, the gambling authority called DGoJ has submitted a request for twelve unlicensed operators to stop their activities in the Spanish market within the next ten days. Representatives of the online gambling regulator pointed out that this order demonstrates the seriousness and professionalism with which the regulator is functioning and also is a clear indication that the Spanish market is heading in the right direction when it comes to online casino gambling. This step made by DGoJ against unlicensed online gambling operators is essential to have a safe and orderly market. Despite this action, the fact that so many illegal operators were able to offer their services to Spanish customers demonstrates that more work is needed by the regulatory agency. An important online casino that has been included on the ban list has objected and replied that they have no business in Spain and that they only operate a website in Spanish for all their Spanish speaking customers found around the world.

In Athens, the independent public authority called Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC) stated that licenses to offer online gaming service will be awarded after a formal tender process. HGC also announced through an advisory notice that it has resumed its control of online gaming services in Greece and that the licensing process has yet to be initiated. In order for license holders in EU member states to continue operations, they have to join a retrospective voluntary taxation scheme. Until now, twenty-four companies have agreed to the conditions imposed by HGC and have been issued temporary licenses. Despite all of these actions, HGC pointed out that many unlicensed online casinos are still operating and offering illegal services in the Greek market. Therefore, the independent Greek public authority has ordered unlicensed online gambling operators to block accessibility to Greek players by December 6. If they don’t comply, they risk a felony charge that carries a minimum ten year jail sentence or a fine ranging between €200,000 and €500,000.

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