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European authorities challenge online poker providers

The United States isn’t the only country to put its foot down when it comes to allowing its citizens to get involved with worldwide online poker competition. In the last few weeks, two European countries have taken steps to limit where and how their citizens are allowed to participate in international competition or choose the site that they want to use regardless of where that site happens to be headquartered on land.

First it was France who decided its legion of online poker players had too much freedom of choice. They decided that moving forward, French internet service providers have the responsibility to block online poker fans from accessing sites run by organizations not licensed by the French authorities.

Next it was Portugal to step in and limit online poker providers. A Portuguese court ruled that foreign online poker sites are no longer allowed to sponsor Portuguese sports teams or otherwise advertise. The basis of the decision is that foreign companies have an unfair advantage over local casinos and gambling businesses, which claim they are unable to compete with foreign businesses due to the way the government requires different levels of legislation between the two – local companies must adhere to strict, expensive requirements, while foreign companies face a more relaxed (and inexpensive) set of rules.

Canadian online poker players remain unaffected by these changes, though it’s possible that less advertising may mean fewer people will find their way to an online poker table when you’re in the mood for a game. Only time will tell.

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