The government of the Netherlands finally agreed to life the prohibition on internet gambling freeing hundreds of thousands of Dutch gamblers who previously were forced to gamble illegally at foreign internet casinos. The Dutch government agreed to grant licenses to domestic and foreign internet gambling providers who wish to offer service to residents of the Netherlands.
For many years the Dutch Socialist government was in favor of every conceivable freedom: from drug use to prostitution, yet nothing terrified the Socialists more than granting adults the freedom to play internet slots or play online poker in Netherlands.
It took a coalition of Mr. Geert Wilder’s PW (Freedom Party) along with CDA (Christian-Democrats) and VVD (Liberals) to grant adults the freedom to spend their hard earned money as they see fit.
Jaap Oosterveer, a spokesman for the Dutch ministry of Public Safety and Justice, commented that – “It is a big policy shift and this is a new government with a more liberal approach.” The Freedom Party is considered ultra-conservative by every political analyst in Europe.
Fredrik Reeven, the State Secretary of Security and Justice, wrote to the Dutch parliament last week asking to begin licensing online gambling, since in his view it is not longer enforceable as hundreds of thousands of citizens play online casinos in Netherlands and ignore the ban.
Secretary Reeven also wrote that by lifting the ban, the government will have better oversight and greater ability to control undesirable behavior such as compulsive or underage gambling, money laundering and organized crime influences.
This change to the Dutch gambling laws will not disband the Holland Casino monopoly which still has complete control over all traditional forms of gambling in the country. The new licensing system for online casinos will be more transparent and in compliance with some of the EU requirements.
The government forecasts that the auction of online casino licenses alone should generate approximately $14.1 million per year starting with 2012.