Dutch internet gambling problems grow

The Dutch government's stubborn refusal to adopt European Union principles in protecting its state gambling monopoly continued to generate problems for the country this week as Betfair launched a legal attack (see previous InfoPowa report) and the European Commission ordered an investigation into possible non-compliance with EU treaty requirements.

The latest furore stems from an attempt by the Dutch Minister of Justice, Ernst Hirsch Ballin, to stop Dutch banks processing payments for online betting services, the newspaper Telegraaf reports.

A spokesman for the Commission told Telegraaf last week: "The European Commissioner [Charlie McCreevy] has asked the appropriate services to start an investigation into the banking blockade. As far as we are aware, the Netherlands is the only country in Europe to do such a thing."

Holland's justice ministry ordered banks to stop accepting transactions for Internet gambling services or face potential legal action.

A survey in January said the Dutch are spending Euro 450 million a year on 'illegal' internet gambling.

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