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Italian Gov't Declares War on Illegal Online Gambling
Large number of non-compliant Web sites to be obscured
Roberto Spiezio (seong)     Print Article 
Published 2006-02-17 10:26 (KST)   
The Italian government's crackdown on illegal gambling websites is now in full swing.

So far, the government has banned a few sites that were not complying with domestic laws and only allowed those with formal authorization to operate online. Italian ISP's (Internet Service Providers) were ordered to deny access to several Chinese Web sites showing "Serie A" soccer games.

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In a Feb. 13 press release, AAMS, the governmental agency in charge of controlling state monopolies, said starting Feb. 24, some 517 "illegal" or "unauthorized" gambling Web sites are going to be obscured by an ISP level filter so that Italian Internet users will not be able to connect to them.

The providers not complying with the law will be fined 30,000 to 180,000 euros (U.S.$35,000 to $210,000).

AAMS Director Giorgio Tino said the decree shouldn't be considered as a sign of obscurantism in that the measure "tends not to make available the sites of the providers that have decided to obscure the system of the rules every democratic country gives and must give itself in order to safeguard consumers, public order and the competitive system."

An article appearing on tech magazine Punto Informatico's Web site on Feb. 14 asked why the "freedom of the Italian Internet user to surf the Web at will" hadn't been mentioned in the official documents announcing the measures.

Gamblers holding pending credits will have to hurry up to claim their money before the date is set.
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Roberto Spiezio

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