|Confusion over the legality of Internet gambling in Israel is causing heated legal debate between the AG and police authorities, the state lottery monopoly and legal advisers to online gambling operators in the country.|
Israel appeared to be cracking down on online gambling this week when the Haaretz publication claimed that operators and credit card processors had been warned by Israeli police that their activities were illegal.
Reports suggested that Major General Yohanan Danino, head of the Police Investigations and Intelligence Unit, had notified Interlogic, which operates the Play 65 internet site, that both the police and the attorney general consider the operation of a gambling site for backgammon games a criminal offence.
The official warned the company that it must cease to allow players on the site to gamble real money on the results of the game, even though the game of backgammon itself, or gambling with virtual money, is not prohibited.
The situation harks back to the US Department of Justice’s activities against BetOnSports and Sportingbet in the summer, with the Israeli police reported to have issued written notices to credit companies, warning them against continued handling of gambling money deposits.