Italy Blocks Maltese Internet Gaming Sites - Friday 24th of February 2006

ITALY AND MALTA As reported by the Malta Business Times: "The Italian state will on Friday block 684 internet gaming sites which are considered to be illegal, to protect Italian gamers from 'phishing' – the fraudulent acquisition of passwords and credit card details.

"All sites licensed in Malta are included in the list, which was put into force following Italy's 2006 Budget, to block all online gaming sites which are not licensed in Italy. The law stipulates that ISPs in Italy should block the websites, otherwise they will be fined for every that they are in breach of the law.

"The Italians have threatened ISPs in Malta with a daily fine of EUR180,000 in a unilateral move that has been described as a case of protectionism.

"According to the Financial Times, the legal director of gaming company Betfair, which also has a Maltese licence, said that Italy's move had unified the British gambling heavyweights to take legal action, and have already specialist legal firm Freshfields..."

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