Holland Casino holds a monopoly over all land-based and online casinos in the Netherlands. The group runs several casino properties throughout the country, each carrying the same name and brand. The gambling monopoly recently launched a nation-wide advertising campaign, and it has caught the attention of the Dutch Labor Party, who feels that the campaign moves against the spirit of the monopoly.
The campaign, launched with the help of Dutch group Primera, revolves around a small box of promotional materials called “Holland Casino Try Out”. The box costs €35, and is being marketed as “The ideal way to get to know the casino”. It contains one ticket to enter a Holland Casino property, along with ten €1 roulette chips, twenty €0.50 slot machine tokens, three €5 action value chips, and coupons that can be exchanged for a drink and a snack. There are also tutorial booklets included to help introduce new players to the world of casino gambling.
While is nothing in Dutch gambling laws that prevents Holland Casino from advertising their services, the Labor Party believes that this new campaign goes against everything that the monopoly stands for. The monopoly is in place in order to help control gambling addiction, but this “Holland Casino Try Out” package seems to be a proactive attempt to create new gamblers.
Interestingly, the ECJ put forth a similar complaint about Dutch gambling laws earlier this year. The Court announced in June 2010 that the Dutch gambling monopoly is not compliant with EU regulations, pointing to the same inconsistency that has the Labor Party frustrated; specifically, that the monopoly purports to exist in order to control gambling, but at the same time shows a desire to expand its services and to increase its player base.
Meanwhile, little has come of a press announcement several months ago suggesting that the Dutch government is considering regulating internet gambling in Holland.