Dutch love to gamble

Dutch online gamblers are spending up to Euro 450 million a year on their pastime, according to a survey just completed by the research company Motivaction. The revelation will no doubt spur Dutch politicians, who would like to keep the market exclusive to the state gambling monopoly, to greater efforts.

Earlier this week Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin warned online gambling companies targeting Dutch residents that his department would go after them in unspecified legal actions, and cautioned banks regarding the processing of 'illegal' Internet gambling transactions.

The latest statistics indicate that Dutch online punters have doubled their annual gambling spend since 2005. Motivaction says Dutch gamblers, most of them young people, spend an average of Euro 82 a month on the Internet and that there are 485 000 regular players.

The Netherlands has not yet licensed any online gambling sites. Efforts to give an online licence to the state gambling monopoly Holland Casino last year were thwarted in parliament.

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