The number of sanctions regimes mandated by the United Nations Security Council has increased. Experience with sanctions regimes has revealed a number of problems, most notably undesired humanitarian effects on the civilian population in the target country and economic effects on third states. Moreover, the effectiveness of UN sanctions has been questioned.

In the light of this experience, many actors from the UN, governments, NGO’s and the academia have undertaken efforts to develop UN sanctions regimes, to increase their effectiveness and to reduce undesired side effects.

This Site is dedicated to the strengthening and fine-tuning of multilateral sanctions. It shall serve as a clearing house for information related to multilateral sanctions.

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In addition to UN sanctions, the Smart Sanctions site is also a meeting point for discussion on other prevalent matters effecting society.  With technology developments increasing at ever more dramatic rates we are receiving a number of requests to look at the issue of online gambling regulation.  A number of NGO’s have contacted us with an aim to undertake research activities related to the social and political ramifications of online gambling regulation, in particular the reluctance of individual governments to address online gambling regulation.  This is a complex area, particularly, as by its very nature the internet crosses geographical, cultural and international boundaries seamlessly, meaning that any attempts to regulate and manage this sector require a cohesive and committed approach.

Whist we congratulate the EU for their recent attempts to regulate the online gambling market amongst it’s member states, we believe that the UN should offer greater guidelines in addressing regulation.  Much of the debate amongst proponents of the i-gaming industry have argued that a number of casino games such as poker and blackjack, have large elements of skill rather than chance.  Consequently attempts to regulate these types of games should differ to games where nearly all, or the majority of the game relies on chance.  For a number of years, legislation towards gambling has been based on the ‘chance’ element, and it makes sense that any attempts to legislate and regulate the online market should follow a similar path.  What is clear is that a cohesive approach is required by governments, and at the very least the UN should be offering guidelines on how best to approach this rapidly growing sector.

What is clear is that the United States has had a considerable success with sanctions, in particular with the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which effectively shut down the US market to online gaming operators over night.  Smart sanctions of this nature that are well planned and implement can have considerable and dramatic effect, and it is against this back drop that we welcome the debate of regulation in this sector.