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Dutch Government Against EU Online Casinos in Netherlands

The Dutch Government is further proving its strong stance against online casinos targeting Dutch audiences, and trying to legally confine its state owned monopoly over Dutch online casinos (the Holland Casino), by cracking down on online gambling regulations in Holland. Despite that the European Union has established firm principles regarding the free movement of goods and services between EU member nations, the Justice Ministry reports that at least 30 foreign online casinos are specifically targeting Dutch gamblers.

According to new Justice Ministry regulations, all bank and credit-card companies are being held criminally liable for facilitating Dutch citizens on foreign online casinos and gambling sites. The government is also set to release a list of all banned online casinos for Dutch citizens by the spring. Gambling at online casinos in the Netherlands is legally confined to the Holland Casino, which has approximately 400,000 regular gamblers. The government has been under significant pressure recently from the EU Compliance arm, headed by Charlie McCreevy, to allow Dutch citizens access to other online casinos within the European Union.

The Commissioner has stated publicly that he will not hesitate to take state monopoly protectionist nations to the European High Court of Justice in response. In addition, the Dutch government has increased the amount spent on advertising for the Holland Casino, which goes against the official EU rules. Revealed in a leaked letter from the internal markets commissioner, the governments advertising expenditure has increased by 42 percent between 2002 and 2004 for the Lotto lottery.

The commissioner said that he believes the Netherlands is following a policy of expansion, and that no other European online casinos should be banned from participating gin the Dutch gambling market.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCAs financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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