Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Italy blocks further websites from Malta

The Italian authorities have taken further measures to enforce their national gambling legislation. The national legislation, which bans people living in Italy to use foreign online gambling operators, is inter alia enforced by a ban for national ISP’s to block access to foreign gambling websites. Today, close to 700 IP addresses of these foreign sites are blocked.

Malta, whose legislation is geared towards attracting foreign betting operators (who in many cases engage in illegal activities by offering services in jurisdictions where this is forbidden) tried to get around the Italian legislation by linking the gambling websites to the website of its gaming authority and using a web anonymiser that disguises the websites’ IP addresses. As a result, the only visible IP address for Maltese gambling websites would be the address of the Maltese gaming authority.

The response by the Italian authorities has been to block the IP address of the Maltese Gaming Authority as well. Malta has complained with the European Commission about this action.

The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities condemns the policies by Malta, as its disrespects national jurisdictional integrity on gambling and results in hosting websites that pirate the horse racing product.