Thursday, January 31, 2008

European Commission Sues Sweden and Germany over Gambling Ban

The European Commission has today instigated legal action against Sweden and Germany in a final effort to ensure compliance with the European Union’s directive on the free movement of services.

The EU’s Internal Market Commissioner, Charlie McCreevy, has given Sweden two months in which to show that prohibitive measures against poker games and tournaments are compatible with EU law. Sweden’s state-owned gambling company, Svenska Spel, offers and promotes online poker to its citizens, however it is illegal for foreign operators to do the same.

If Sweden and Germany fail to satisfy the Commission that their measures do not breach internal market rules, the cases will be sent to the European Court of Justice which is empowered to force the nations to amend their laws or face financial penalties.

In Germany, the Commission is targeting the Interstate Treaty on gambling which came into force at the beginning of this year. Under the new law, private operators are banned from providing games of chance via the internet, or advertising such services. Financial institutions are also barred from processing financial transactions related to ‘illegal’ online gambling.

Germany has also been given two months within which to respond to the Commission.

Stefan Widmark, the lawyer for the Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbladet, welcomed today’s decision. Aftonbladet wrote to Commissioner Charlie McCreevy earlier this month, calling on him to take action against Sweden with regard to its Lottery law.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

German Online Gambling Ban on the Horizon?

My condolences to all of you German residents out there. It looks like your country has banned online poker much as the United States did with the UIEGA.

The new law prohibits all Web-based gambling, wagering and betting over the Internet, specifically including the placement of bets with companies located in other countries. Some are suggesting that this will even force German ISP companies to actively block the "illegal" gambling sites, but there is no question that it empowers them to do so if they choose.

With Bloomberg reporting that 13 of 16 states already ratifying the law, only legal action can save you now. Luckily, bWin and a few other online gambling operators are already stepping up and pledging to fight this gambling prohibition in your courts. The rest of the European Union isn't happy about this, and sanctions may follow. The Brussels-based European Commission, a regulator for the European Union, still has the opportunity to challenge Germany’s new regulations.

Bloomberg Reports on German Online Gambling Ban

Friday, December 28, 2007

A New Free Poker Bot for the New Year. No More Excuses

For my New Year's resolution, I'm going to create a new pokerbot with OpenHoldem.

I will create this bot transparently, here, on this blog...step by step. We'll start from the beginning, so if you are looking for a tutorial or guide to get started botting from ground zero, this may be the place. My goal is to create an ABC, typical tight aggressive, bot that can be easily modified. I won't be including any opponent modeling (at least in the short term) or any complicated dlls, so we won't be outsmarting the nosebleed stakes by any means. We'll delve deeply enough to whet your appetite, though. With a little luck and a lot of work, you might create the next best poker bot.

Anyone willing to put in the time will have a step by step guide to creating their own poker bot based on the free open-source OpenHoldem platform. Maybe I shouldn't call it a free poker bot since you'll be paying for it with sweat and time even if it won't cost a single penny from your bankroll.

We'll talk about security, poker theory, bankroll management, statistical analysis, and anything else that comes up as the bot creation unfolds. I hope you will join in the process. Comments and emails will not only help me to know what topics to cover, but will motivate me to stay on task. This blog will be moving to a permanent home soon, and we'll have forums for more in depth discussion.

Until the big kickoff, if you'd like to come along for the ride (you'll be shocked how fun and addictive poker bots are once you get rolling) you'll need to prepare. Become familiar with OpenHoldem, WinHoldem, and their respective discussion forums. Gather your links to good poker theory. Read and research at least the basics so you have a solid foundation to build upon and a basic working vocabulary of texas holdem and poker bots . I'm happy to answer questions, but the entire bot development will slow to a crawl if I answer "What is prwin??" twenty times a day.

Best of luck for the New Year,