Israel Blocks International Gambling Websites After Court Approval
The unlicensed online gambling industry in Israel has flourished for a number of years and has proved to be a major headache for the gaming regulator.
The regulator received more power this week after an Israeli court gave internet service providers (ISPs) in the country approval to block the IPs of three unlicensed international gambling websites.
Israeli authorities have been working together to crackdown on the illegal gambling industry in the country and tighten regulations to prevent its citizens from being targeted by unlicensed operators. They have faced numerous hurdles over the years and have not had a lot of success in being able to block the ISPs of unlicensed operators.
That changed earlier this week when Judge Zion Kapah from the Tel Aviv District Court approved an injunction to block the ISPs of totobet777.com, 1xbet.com and p2vbet.com. The injunction was a victory for the gaming regulator, office of the state prosecutor and the Unit for Combating Economic Crime.
There was no information given as to why these three offshore websites were chosen to be first on the blacklist. It is also interesting to note that p2vbet.com holds a license from the Government of Curacao and does not offer any of its services in Hebrew. The authorities did confirm that this was just the first round of blacklisted sites and more international gambling websites will soon be added to the list.
New Internet Law Responsible For Ruling
It wasn’t easy in the past to get the court to issue an injunction blocking ISPs of gambling providers. Things changed after the Government approved ‘Powers to Prevent Offenses Through an Internet Site Law 5767-2017,’ in 2017 which empowered local authorities to block the IPs of websites they considered suspicious and fraudulent.
Israeli authorities have been paying special attention in recent times to certain websites that were suspected of promoting child pornography, money laundering, content glorifying terrorism, prostitution and selling drugs.
There are many offshore gambling websites that are popular with Israeli players because they provide them a great line of online slots, table games and live casino games. Most of these offshore casinos are licensed in other jurisdictions and provide a safe gaming environment. However there are a few shady players in the industry who are involved in fraud and criminal activities.
This new crackdown on international gambling operators is bound to affect even established operators and could significantly impact online players in Israel.
Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world