Similar to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) passed by the US government in 2006, the Norwegian government has just passed a proposal to ban online poker and gambling transactions to/from residents of Norway. Enforcement of the new legislation is not excepted until the middle of 2009 at the earliest, as the government still needs to write up the regulations for the new anti-online gambling law.
NorwayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Financial Services Association, along with several other prominent financial institutions, were opposed to the billÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s passage, claiming that it would only serve to cause a multitude of problems for the country as a whole; but that didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t stop legislators from voting it into law earlier this week.
Again, just like the US governmentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s claims when passing the UIGEA, Norway justifies the online poker and gambling ban by stating it will protect problem gamblers. According to the European Commission and many expert analysts of the Internet gaming industry, however, the real reason behind the anti-online gambling ban is to protect its own interests; those being the state-run gambling monopoly of Norske Tipping.
The European Union has already dealt Norway much criticism of the Internet gambling ban, and one of the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s senior legal advisors is forecasting that the bill will end up in the European Court of Justice once it is approved.
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