NEWS

On-line chess banned from Internet cafes?

Three months after promising to instantly outlaw all electronic games from the public domain in the wake of a heated public debate on widespread illegal gambling, the government tabled a bill to that effect in Parliament yesterday. The draft law, presented by the Economy and Finance Ministry, bans any form of «electric, electro-mechanical and electronic» game devices, including computers, from hotels, coffee shops, club premises and public areas in general. This will not apply to Internet cafes, which, however, will not be allowed to offer their clients computer games. The police will be responsible for catching offenders, who will face fines of 5,000 to 75,000 euros and imprisonment of one to 12 months. The blanket ban was decided in February after the government admitted it was incapable of distinguishing innocuous video games from illegal gambling machines. Key national issues have entered a crucial phase. They require complex and subtle moves. Turkey’s aggressiveness has intensified, as reflected in the precipitous rise in violations of Greece’s national air space by Turkish fighter jets.