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October 27th, 2009

Europe, Australia Struggle to Regulate Internet Poker

October 27, 2009 (PAP Newswire) -- As the United States struggles with the looming deadline of the UIGEA, the anti-online gambling regulations pushed through Congress in 2006 and soon to be implemented into full law, other nations around the world also face their own legal battles regarding Internet gaming.

Just a few weeks ago, France took a big step towards legalizing more forms of online gambling, including online poker. Now, news comes that Germany may be following in its neighbor’s footsteps.

Currently, Germany bans all forms of online gambling except for horse racing (the same situation France was formerly in). But that ban ends in just over two years, and it’s under fire from some European groups, as well as some influential German politicians. Looks like it could be going down. (Read more about that here.)

(As a side note, in Europe, a site called right2bet.net is drawing comparisons to the United States’ Poker Players Association by leading some initiatives to fully legalize and regulate online gambling. There's a lot more to the European Internet gambling situation than meets the eye; read about it here.)

And in Australia, since 2001 online gamblers have been playing under the stigma of the Interactive Gambling Act, which effectively makes it illegal to offer real money online gambling. (But it's not illegal to play ... like the UIGEA, it's complicated. And vague.) However, that ban has not been very widely enforced. And an influential group is calling for its repeal, using basically the same arguments that U.S. politicians make against the UIGEA. (Read more on Australia’s online gambling laws here.)

The good news, then, is that there seem to be strong movements in all these countries to fully legalize online gambling. The bad news is that they’ll all most likely take years to reach fruition; or, as in the case of the recent French laws, come at a costly price. (The new French regulations carry many restrictions and a very high tax rate.) But progress is progress, and smart affiliate marketers know this is a time to perfect their game in the markets that are legal, in order to be fully prepared when these lucrative new markets open up completely. It's just a matter of time.
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