Just when we thought that the United States had wonky laws regarding online gaming, Cyprus steps up and shows us that things could be worse.
Cyprus’ parliament is currently considering a new law that could land operators of illegal gambling sites hefty fines of up to €500,000 and 10 years in jail. Online casino gambling is targeted with this new law since they are getting Millions in income with none of that going to Cyprus in the form of taxes.
Under the law, violators would face harsh penalties and ISP’s would be forced to block sites that offer gambling services. DISY MP Ionas Nicolaou stated that, “There will be a continuous war to locate these webpages that will be placed on a register.”
Citizens that partake in illegal gambling, whether online or in a live setting, could face up to five years jail time and a fine of €170,000. In addition, illegal gambling operators face penalties of up to €500,000 and 10 years in jail.
The new law would also enact strict penalties to facilities offering legal forms of gambling, but those penalties were not discussed. Discussions regarding the proposed law finished earlier in the week and now awaits a vote.
Fortunately, the United States does not have such a law enacted against its citizens. If it had, chances are that online poker would have died completely in 2006. Granted, I think that sites indicted on Black Friday would have much rather faced the €500,000 fine than what it cost some of them in the end, especially UB who is all but dead now.