|A precedent-setting ruling was delivered this week against online poker and online gambling in the Israeli court case involving Gibraltar-based online bookmaker Victor Chandler's CEO Michael Carlton, effectively banning online gambling companies from delivering any services to Israeli customers. |
'A foreign company operating an online gambling site may not hide behind the fact that the company and its servers sit in another country, and it is breaking the law if does not block access to Israelis,' Judge Abraham Heiman said.
Gambling in Israel, like France and several other European countries, is a monopoly controlled by a state-run gaming board.
Israel had previously ignored the foothold Victor Chandler had established in Israel, and permitted them to operate in a legal grey area.
Last year the Victor Chandler company launched an aggressive marketing campaign in Israel, complete with advertisements on billboards and buses, and a Hebrew website. Victor Chandler had remarked that Israel had rapidly become its second-biggest market amongst the customers it serves from over 160 countries.
But Israeli authorities were becoming increasingly unhappy about the encroachment of online gaming operators into their state-run monopoly.
Judge Heiman's ruling this week has now made it clear that online gambling sites are not welcome to reach Israeli customers, either online or via physical advertising.