With recent U.S. legislation regarding online gambling and the online poker boom felt all over the world, many countries are left feeling the need to regulate online poker where there once was no regulation, and even on the opposite end, abolishing preexisting regulations altogether in some cases.
It’s a decision every country or state must make on their own and in their own best interest. Demonstrating this legal dilemma in two different lights are France and Finland, both members of the European Union. One country is looking at regulating online poker for the first time in history while the other is considering abolishing their restrictive legislation completely.
It has been reported that France will be reconsidering their current policies regarded online gambling. French citizens may soon have the opportunity to play on regulated online gambling sites. Current law in France prohibits any form of online betting. Possibly due to pressure from the European Commission of the EU, France is looking at conforming to a EU treaty promising free competition with other member nations. Signing this treaty will force France into opening up the ability of its residents to take part in online sports betting, including online poker.
In Finland, online gambling is organized as a national monopoly. Currently there are no regulations restricting online gambling in Finland, but the government is now looking at it as an opportunity to gain an extra source of taxable income. To this date online gambling in Finland has never been managed by government agencies but that is likely to change shortly.
It has been reported that Finns spend roughly 50 million Euros annually on foreign online poker sites alone. The Finnish government feels that a good portion of this money should be kept locally in Finland and that it should be taxed. In order to achieve this Finland will have to face the EU regulation and their member nations, which may be a bumpy road to follow when trying to regulate online gambling.