Dutch change their tune re online gambling

For some time now the Netherlands government has been one of the staunchest opponents of an open online gambling market.

They defended their right to ban foreign online gambling operators at the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in a much publicized case brought against them by Ladbrokes and Betfair in 2009/2010; a right that was upheld by the ECJ.

But this stance is about to change, according to a proposal put forward by the new coalition government.

Fredrik Teeven, state secretary of security and justice, over the weekend sent a letter to the Dutch parliament recommending a move to a regulated online gambling market.   The letter reasoned that hundreds of thousands of Dutch were defying the current ban anyway and a change in the law would allow more oversight.

A government spokesperson described the proposal as,  “a big shift (in policy), but this is a new government with a more liberal approach.”

Player protection from gambling addiction and fraud were cited as key reasons  for the change in policy. No surprises here, as this is the line put forward by all governments doing an about face on this issue.  Although not mentioned in the letter I suspect that revenue generation was probably front of mind when the proposal was drafted. Money flowing out of a country that hasn’t been taxed does seem to irk most governments.

Anyway, now we wait with interest to see how this proposal unfolds.

Related pages: Live casinos for Dutch players

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