Ongames adds three Italian partners

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bwin’s Ongame network has added three new partners to its Italian network – giving then10 partners holding Italian operating licenses.

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MatchGames, TOBS, MatchGames and TOBS will be joining Ongame Network’s P5 Poker Engine this month with Casino Italia following in June.

Ongame Network Italy currently offers Italian players Sit & Go, scheduled and multi-table poker tournaments on the P5 Poker Engine and other games currently allowed by Italian legislation such as bingo. However, they have said that when legally allowed to do so they plan to provide poker cash games and casino offerings, giving players more choice and further stimulating network growth

“Ongame Network’s Italian operation is in an exciting expansion phase and demonstrates the business benefits of being a responsible supplier who works within legal jurisdictions,” said Martin Lerby, Head of Ongame Network.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has announced that that they have dropped a series of legal charges against Italy regarding their stance on internet gambling.

An agreement has been reached which will see changes made to Italian gambling laws which will effectively end local monopolies on internet gambling and allowing gambling groups from other EU states to offer their services to Italian players.

Prior to this Italy’s stance on online gambling was extremely restrictive. As a result the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) and the National Horse Breeders Enhancement Society (UNIRE) had the exclusive rights to all sports betting, including online sportsbooks in Italy. In effect Italy proactively blocked foreign-hosted betting sites to prevent players from accessing them. Because of this the EC found these practices to be in violation of EU rules on the freedom to provide services, and decided to take legal action against the country.  


While EU law does permit Member States to restrict the offering of gambling services in the public interest, for example to prevent gambling addiction or organised crime, such restrictions must be coherent with the Member State's own behaviour in offering the very same services.

In a statement the Commission said it had, “…ensured that Italian citizens will have access to a wider choice of authorised on-line gambling services as a result of changes made to Italy’s laws on online gambling. The Commission has therefore closed a series of legal cases against Italy concerning this legislation.”

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