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Old 04-14-2018, 06:31 PM   #1
mordok999
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Unhappy Restrictions for online poker in many countries - WHY?

Hi there,

I researched how the law for playing online poker is in Spain, as I will go there in a couple of weeks. I found out that there are only few licensed websites allowed there and these have a restriction to Spanish habitants only. As I further investigated I found out that actually a lot of countries have restrictions and some (like Indonesia) even ban online poker totally.

So why are the governments doing this? Do they think they protect their habitants from "gambling"? Is it because, in restricted countries, they get a piece of the cake by letting the operators of poker websites pay taxes?

Especially countries like France, Spain and Italy which have a history in gambling, did really surprise me to have these kind of restrictions. Generally countries being in the EU, actually. I think not being able to do something that actually can only hurt yourself, not others, should generally be allowed in a free country. I mean this is a great restriction in peoples lives which, to me, has absolutely no sense.

Please give me your thoughts on this.
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:56 PM   #2
7OAD
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Re: Restrictions for online poker in many countries - WHY?

Maybe casino lobbying, also while I personally win at poker, I don't really see it as a net positive for society, so from a philosophical standpoint I can understand the ban.

That said state run lotteries are a trillion times worse, so it's not as if these are pious people acting piously.
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:27 PM   #3
Foreva More
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Re: Restrictions for online poker in many countries - WHY?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mordok999 View Post
WHY?
Because double standards.
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:55 PM   #4
BackDoorFlush
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Re: Restrictions for online poker in many countries - WHY?

Politicians are idiots.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:14 PM   #5
belg_owner
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Re: Restrictions for online poker in many countries - WHY?

Because country's need to pay rake too.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:44 PM   #6
NickMPK
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Re: Restrictions for online poker in many countries - WHY?

Look at the history of online poker. Most online gambling sites are scams and criminal enterprises. The honest ones are few and far between. And these sites don't just facilitate gambling; they are also entrusted with huge amounts of money owned by the players, often for periods of months or years. Of course they should strictly regulated.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:51 PM   #7
hAmThEkIlLeR
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Re: Restrictions for online poker in many countries - WHY?

I would list all the reasons by country, but I think that corruption is the explanation in every case.
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:35 AM   #8
Colin_Piddle
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Re: Restrictions for online poker in many countries - WHY?

OP you must have been living under a rock for almost a decade to not know Spain and many other countries are heavily regulated and or outright banned.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:40 PM   #9
destro betting
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Re: Restrictions for online poker in many countries - WHY?

corruption and money masked a bs protection law basically
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:40 PM   #10
yasuo
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Re: Restrictions for online poker in many countries - WHY?

casino's lobbying would be the only legit reason i could think of
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:14 PM   #11
mordok999
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Re: Restrictions for online poker in many countries - WHY?

Alright then for most of you it's simply corruption / lobbying.
Thanks for your answers! No I have at least an idea of what is going on. Money holders are always kind of sticking together to make even more money. Was always like that and always will be. - Sad, but true.

Is there an option for closing this issue or are all posts open "forever"?
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:48 PM   #12
Foreva More
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Re: Restrictions for online poker in many countries - WHY?

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Originally Posted by mordok999 View Post
Is there an option for closing this issue or are all posts open "forever"?
Don't start something you can't finish son.
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Old 04-16-2018, 04:37 AM   #13
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Re: Restrictions for online poker in many countries - WHY?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mordok999 View Post
I found out that there are only few licensed websites allowed there and these have a restriction to Spanish habitants only. As I further investigated I found out that actually a lot of countries have restrictions.
There are dozens of licensed online casinos in Spain. There's only a few online poker rooms because it is a requirement of the regulation to be seperate from the global dot-com player pool, so it is not a particularly attractive market for operators.

However, Spanish sites are not actually restricted to Spanish inhabitants only - that's a common misconception. Indeed, PokerStars.ES is open to international sign-up right now. However, other operators choose to lock the site down to Spanish only, for business reasons.

Quote:
So why are the governments doing this? Do they think they protect their habitants from "gambling"? Is it because, in restricted countries, they get a piece of the cake by letting the operators of poker websites pay taxes?

Especially countries like France, Spain and Italy which have a history in gambling, did really surprise me to have these kind of restrictions.
Yes, they want to raise tax revenue. It's not all that surprising, gambling has always been a heavily taxed and regulated activity. It took a while for regulators and lawmakers to adapt laws that also encompassed online gambling, so for a while it was a wild west, with offshore licenses serving the world. Now local laws are finally catching up to the new online landscape, and require operators online to be licensed and taxed just like bricks-and-mortar operations.

Regulation is generally a good thing, they require operators to adhere to sensible rules regarding player protection, funds protection, advertising etc. Sensible regulation welcomed broadly by the industry.

These laws can onerous, so operators may make a business case not to obtain licenses in some jurisdictions. However, where law is sensible - say, the UK - practically all operators obtain licenses (for a contemporary example, Run It Once Poker already has a UKGC license to complement their Malta license). EU law mandates that they are not overly protectionist. E.g. in most countries in Europe, licenses are awarded internationally, they are not tied to bricks-and-mortar licenses, something the norm in the United States (Belgium is the exception). That's why a company like PokerStars holds licenses in some 18 jurisdictions around the world.

Unfortunately, online poker was hit hard, as many countries did not adopt laws that allowed for global player liquidity (for a variety of reasons). this is slowly changing, and we're seeing laws that allow for cross border shared liquidity: In France/Spain/Italy/Portugal, in Austria/Finland, in the United States. Meanwhile, newer regulations allow for global liquidity, something expected in e.g. Netherlands and Sweden from 2019.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:16 AM   #14
ReGen
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Re: Restrictions for online poker in many countries - WHY?

If done correctly, (some) regulation can increase the benefits and reduce the negative impact gambling has on society as a whole. A regulated market can also be beneficial for the gambler in question since it also means that there is another force that can intervene in disputes and handle complaints regarding shady behaviour from the sites (at least in theory).

In my country, operators need to purchase licenses and also follow certain rules, one is for example that the user needs to set some sort of betting limits and any changes can take effect only after one week. This I think gives protection to problem gamblers, since many have the presence of mind to set reasonable limits, but in the heat of the moment are prone to say "**** it, I will win it all back". Also it gives a sense of security regarding payouts etc, since the chance of getting scammed/not paid is much smaller. Also it keeps out small, shady operators due to money and time concerns.

Of course, it you want to, circumventing this is easy - download the software for your favourite poker site through proxy/VPN, install and play, since the ISP:s only block HTTP access to foreign sites. Oh, and deposits/withdrawals need to be done by online wallet since local banks also block purchases to poker sites.
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Old 04-17-2018, 06:03 AM   #15
Josem
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Re: Restrictions for online poker in many countries - WHY?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mordok999 View Post
So why are the governments doing this? Do they think they protect their habitants from "gambling"? Is it because, in restricted countries, they get a piece of the cake by letting the operators of poker websites pay taxes?
In many countries, there's an alliance between "bootleggers and baptists" who conspire to force tough regulations on many different industries.

Here's a wikipedia article on this issue: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootleggers_and_Baptists

This is why, I think, the greatest advocates for "regulation" are gambling companies (who want to profit from gambling) and various gambling opponents who are resigned to it being impossible to prevent (who want to at least restrict it and control it).
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Old 04-17-2018, 08:13 AM   #16
JeniferWilliams
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Re: Restrictions for online poker in many countries - WHY?

It totally depends upon an individual countries rules and regulations. We can't change it.
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