Dutch gymnast and Olympic gold medal winner Yuri van Gelder was once the ambassador of De Lotto, the only gambling group that is legally permitted to offer internet gambling in Holland. On Wednesday November 10, De Lotto ended their sponsorship with the athlete after it became known that he has relapsed into an old cocaine habit.
In July 2009, it became known that van Gelder had used cocaine three days before participating in the Dutch gymnastics championships in Rotterdam. When this news spread, the athlete was suspended from the Dutch Gymnastics Union for one year, and lost his day job with the Dutch military.
While van Gelder claimed to be “clean”, it became known that he had relapsed in mid October. This second offence saw the gymnast dropped from his team for the Gymnastics World Championships. He was expected to make a major comeback after his one-year ban from gymnastics, but now his future in the sport is uncertain.
Following this latest relapse, Dutch state lottery company De Lotto has ended their sponsorship contract with van Gelder. De Lotto currently holds exclusive rights to online gambling in the country, offering both lottery products and internet betting in Holland.
In October 2010, the Dutch government announced that they are considering making a number of changes to Dutch gambling laws that would see the nation’s online gambling industry open up to foreign competition. A recent change of government has put internet gambling in a new light, after the previous administration fought hard to keep foreign-based gambling sites away from Dutch citizens.
The original announcement regarding the country’s plans to move forward with legalizing internet gambling appeared in local newspaper The Telegraaf on 07 October. Since then, no official announcements have been made.