Estonia Begins Blocking Foreign Gambling Sites Until 2011

Having legalised internet gambling this year, Estonia has now begun blocking online casino and poker websites without Estonian licenses from operating within their market, as part of a two tier strategy to implement the country’s new Gambling Act.
Estonia initially took the decision to legalise online gambling so as to help out its badly battered economy, which had fallen by 36% following the 2008 global economic crisis.
However, in order to protect its fledgling online gaming market, Estonian players are only able to gamble using locally licensed online gambling sites until 2011, when the whole of Estonia’s internet gambling market will be opened up to foreign investors.
Consequently, the Estonian Tax and Custom Board have drawn up a list of around 200 domain names whose IPs the Estonian internet providers are now invited to block, or face a fine of 40,000 Lithuanian Litas ($15,600). Included on the list are some of online gambling’s biggest operators, such as PokerStars, PartyPoker, Full Tilt Poker, Unibet, and Bwin.
Despite drawing criticism from the European Commission, EU trade legislation as regards gambling are particularly vague and so Estonia’s decision in likely to proceed without any outside interference. Estonia is also claiming that its protectionist policy is temporary and necessary to iron out the precise details and rules required to operate a successful and legitimate international online gaming operation.
However, only the Olympic Group, which offers a Playtech-powered casino, has been granted a local license, and so Estonian gamblers in the meantime will have to make do with domestic sites with small levels of online traffic and profit potential. Commenting on the situation, Estonian professional poker player Imre Leibold said:
“The possibility that online poker gaming could be restricted is not good news for us. If things get tough, one may have to consider moving residence or start working abroad like Estonian builders in Finland.”

Other news:   Multi-state online poker compact bill introduced in Pennsylvania

Poker News
Mississippi Casinos Post Record Revenue in April as Sports Betting Beckons
04 Jun 2018
Mississippi’s casinos generated gross gaming revenue of $184 million in April, or 5% more compared to the same month in 2017. Furthermore, that total represents an all-time high for the state, and is 1.3% more than the previous record set in 2007 when thousands of volunteers entered Mississippi to assist in cleanup efforts post-Hurricane Katrina.
Switzerland Prepares For June 10th Legalized iGambling Referendum
04 Jun 2018
On June 10th, Switzerland will hold a national referendum to decide whether the ‘Money Gaming Act’ passed by the Swiss Parliament in September 2017 can be implemented next year in its present form. The piece of legislation paves the way for land-based casinos and local partners to offer legalized online gambling in Switzerland, although a
MGM Resorts International Buys NY's Empire City Casino for $850 Million
02 Jun 2018
Real estate and entertainment conglomerate MGM Resorts International has revealed that it’s embarking on a purchase of Empire City Casino, a slots and pari-mutuel wagering venue located in Yonkers, N.Y., just a few miles north of Manhattan. The deal was announced May 29 in a press release, and is expected to be completed near the
Delaware to Launch Full-Scale Sports Betting on June 5th
02 Jun 2018
Last month’s decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn the sports betting ban in the country has opened the floodgates for individual states to legalize and regulate sports wagering within their borders. Before its decision was even made, though, a number of states had already put in place the necessary legislation in order to