Appearing to follow footsteps left by the United States, Dutch authorities are beginning to crack down on illegal online casinos and other forms of online gambling. They’ve now been calling on the banking industry to stop providing financial services to these casinos.
“It is illegal to offer gambling services in the Netherlands without a permit. These companies know they break the law,” a Justice Ministry spokeswoman said.
A list comprised of 30 to 50 online gambling companies has been made by Dutch authorities and it is expected that banking services will soon be restricted for these companies. The Swedish online gamer Unibet and Dutch firm Oranje Casino have been confirmed targets on this list but no other names have been released to the public.
Last month the Dutch upper house squashed a bill that would have allowed a Holland Casino to open a gambling website on a trial basis. Currently in the Netherlands, the only legal and permitted online gambling is provided by the Dutch lottery, De Lotto.
We’ve recently ran reports of the European Union’s attempts at pushing member states to open their markets for competition. The Dutch approach to online gambling seems to be contradicting the EU’s plan and could be heading for disaster. In fact, Greece and the Netherlands were given a final warning from the European Union to release their current restrictions in their gaming markets. If they do not comply the EU is prepared to initiate court action to resolve the matter.
Because this is a Dutch issue, they have only asked banks operating in the Netherlands to participate. Europe is having a tough time trying to solve the issue of Internet betting. Some countries such as Britain or Finland are opening up just about every kind of online gambling. Other countries like Germany and France have been reluctant to support such online gambling. These reluctant countries are concerned with things such as gambling addictions and their worried that state betting monopolies would see their revenues dwindle.