About freedom

In Italy, like in many other countries, gambling is illegal.

Gambling is legal only in casinos that are managed by the Italian government, there are 4 or 5 in total.

In the last few years some gambling machines commonly called “video poker” were legalized. These machines were legalized with the excuse that there’s a fixed rate of wins. Players may not win money, but tokens. Tokens can only be used to play again OR spent to buy something in the same place where you played. For example bars have them, if you win you can get a coffee or a sandwitch or something else. You basically trade them.

How do online casinos relate to all this? Is it legal for me, that I am Italian and live in Italy, to play an online casino that is in some foreign country where casinos are legal?
According to a recent law in Italy, it’s not legal if the casino did not request permissions and paied the fee, of course!

What if I want to access one of these site? Click here to see it.

In short, the page says that you may not access the site because it does not respect law number 266 of Dec, 23rd 2005.

What makes me think most about this, is how the government decides that I may not gamble. I am happy that they want to protect me and make sure that when I go to a casino there are no tricks and that they don’t steal money, but blocking my browsing is a little bit too much in my opinion.
What if one day I reached the Italian borders and got asked “What are you going to do in Switzerland?” and I reply “I am going to a casino” and the officer told me “You can’t go, because the casino did not agree with the Italian government the rules of each game”.
Isn’t this the same?

Also, how do you technically realize this block? Is the Italian government going to provide a list of blocked IP’s and all the Italian ISP’s block them? How quickly are the casino sites going to buy new IP’s? How quickly will they change domain names? How about proxy servers? May I access those sites using, say, a French proxy? What if I use a modem, connect to a French ISP and get on the casino site? Are they going to control my telephone line? Spy all the packets going back and forth on my computer?

I am not the kind of person that wants to protect his privacy at any cost, but this feels a lot like an intrusion. Technically it is going to be a big problem to keep track of all sites and IP’s. Sorry, but this does not seem like a definitive solution.