Internet service provider 012 Smile on Tuesday began blocking access to gambling sites from abroad. The company's move was apparently in response to the injunction issued a month and a half ago by the Police Central District Commander, instructing internet service providers to block Israeli surfers' access to gambling sites.
According to a Calcalist investigation, as of Tuesday, 012 internet service subscribers may only access a censored version of the internet – one that does not include access to large gambling sites like Victor Chandler.
The move came after police district chiefs sent out warnings last month, prior to issuing an order "to close places hosting illegal games, including gambling websites."
The order was issued after representatives from the Justice Ministry and State Prosecutor's Office formulated an opinion according to which "places for banned games" includes the internet, and therefore the Police District Chief may shut a place down on the suspicion that gambling is taking place there.
'Important measure'Police claim that using this administrative tool as part of the enforcement serves as an important measure in the war on internet gambling and is intended to prevent the continued operation of those sites in Israel.
The orders were issued and sent last week after warning letters were sent to companies providing access to the Victor Chandler and Stan James sites, expressing the District Chief's intent to order the prevention of access to those sites in Israel.
According to Israel Police, Israel Tax Authority and State Prosecution, "Enforcement agencies do not view the blocked access as the end of the story, but rather part of the ongoing battle against this widespread phenomenon, and more sites may be blocked in the future."
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