Update: New Dutch Government and New Approach to E-Gaming Legalization

Government source says there has been a policy change

The newly-elected Government source has confirmed the recent rumours that online gambling could be legalized in Netherlands, the Reuters news agency reports.

Jaap Oosterveer, a spokesman for the Dutch ministry of public safety and justice, said that the coalition government plans to issue licenses to internet gambling operators so as to enable the Dutch players to use online gambling services.

"It is a big shift, but this is a new government with a more liberal approach,” Osterveer said.

Reuters underlines that this is a huge change in policy towards the internet gambling in the country famous for defending its ban on e-gaming before the European Court of Justice, which is the highest court in EU.

Another step was taken by Fredrik Teeven, state secretary of security and justice, who sent a letter to the Dutch parliament on Saturday, explaining that the new legislation on e-gaming would enable supervision of the activity especially as a huge number Dutch citizens gamble online regardless of the ban.

The state secretary suggested offering licenses for e-games such as poker, sports betting and bingo, having in mind the successful results of the regulatory measures introduced by many European countries including France, Italy, Austria, Britain and Sweden.

Teeven said that, starting from 2012, at least Euros 10 million per year in tax revenues could be generated for the Dutch government based on the auctioning of e-gaming and lottery licenses.

In addition, he said that gambling addiction and fraud must be prevented while ensuring that consumers are provided with adequate and attractive range of gambling options.

In conclusion, the state secretary asked for more transparent lottery licensing in the Netherlands and looking into the competition aspect of the gaming market which is currently controlled by Holland Casino, the state monopoly casino operator.

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