Liberal Netherlands are not so liberal after all. Take gambling. Under Dutch gambling laws, most of gambling is offered via Holland Casino.
The Dutch gamblers, bored with the state monopoly, have been pursuing internet betting in Holland through a multitude of online casinos. The Dutch Supreme court, however, has ruled that foreign operators may not provide gambling entertainment to the Dutch players.
Many suspect this is due to hard lobbying efforts from the state casino monopoly. Furthermore, the court has ruled that the foreign casinos must install software to block the Dutch players from accessing casinos.
This raises a few issues at Dutch gambling news. First, what is the Dutch court thinking? What if a British sportsbook or a casino is seeking to access the Dutch market? After all, the European Union mandates free access to markets within the member states. How can Netherlands block European casinos in order to protect its casino monopoly? Under EU law, it appears to be discriminatory and a break of EU agreements.
The second issue is that as Dutch court stated it is a responsibility of foreign online gambling operators, not Dutch Internet providers to do the player blocking. So, let’s take a casino in New Zealand.
According to the ruling, a casino in a sovereign state, thousands of miles away, must comply with the ruling of a small tiny state such as Holland. Why would they? Why doesn’t the court mandate instead that it is up to the Dutch Internet providers?
This ruling, indeed, appears to be quite arrogant. Perhaps, the court forgot that it does not rule the world.