02/14/2012 : ISP in-spanned to block 70 illegal operators
The Serbian government, which late last years introduced an online gambling licensing regime, has started moving against foreign operators accessing the Serbian market.
The local newspaper Blic reports that the Serbian Gaming Board has demanded that the eastern European nation's main Internet Service Providers block 70 black listed foreign sites that includes Betfair, Bwin, Bet365, Mybet, Skybet, 888, William Hill, Bet-at-home and Ladbrokes – all allegedly operating without a Serbian licence.
It is understood that thus far the demand has not received a response as the ISPs are consulting with their legal advisers. There could be complications; Vojislav Rodic, a director of "INet" and a former president of Association of Internet Providers, has claimed that directives such as this must be obeyed only if they have been approved by the judiciary.
The new licensing measure, introduced in November last year, appears to be in need of tweaking due to its lack of legislative precision. At present only the national lottery is authorised to operate an online gaming site and issue licenses.
The Board has additionally threatened to seek the cooperation of other regulators if the illegal activity continues
Aleksandar Vulović, a director of the Serbian Gaming Board, is quoted as saying: "We had to prevent access to illegal gambling in order to have a regulated market. Players who operate within the law and from within the state can reap benefits.
Currently the provision of games of chance via the internet is one of the most profitable industries and it is estimated that the revenue will double by 2013. It is simply wrong and no longer legal, that the state does not collect a penny of the millions circulating within this industry".
Back in November, the introduction of the legalization measure was met with significant resistance, but it was pushed through with the support of JAKTA, a trade association representing Serbian gaming operators, land based casinos, slot machine and gambling equipment manufacturers.
JAKTA president Mirjana Acimovic revealed at the time that the association had carried out careful research and had presented compelling evidence for legalization to the country's politicians.
The association proposed that new online gambling licenses be valid for up to 10 years.