Anonymity at risk for some players

In a shock reprise of a Scandinavian move to tax online gamblers some time back, the Dutch taxman has reportedly been approaching poker players resident in Holland who thought they enjoyed Internet anonymity, inviting them to complete tax returns, and providing them with details of Dutch tax law.

Details are still sketchy, but player exchanges on message boards suggest that in some way that is not at present clear tax officials have managed to link citizens with their online "handles" and locations at Internet gambling sites, breaking the critically important requirement for privacy on the Internet.

Last September the Dutch Senate cleared an online gambling taxation Bill that apparently claims all revenues - whether legal or illegal - from online gambling whether foreign or domestic are liable to punitive levels of taxation. It is not clear how the Dutch intend to enforce such a wide-ranging and extra-territorial mandate, but legal observers at the time suggested that it could impact the owners of affiliate websites, offshore operators or Dutch players themselves.

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