Holland to Allow Online Gambling: Will Begin Licensing Process

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Holland to Allow Online Gambling

Understanding the huge positive economic impact online gambling is having on other European countries including Great Britain and various island nations like Gibraltar and Malta, Holland has become the latest country to embrace the industry, announcing on Saturday that it will begin licensing operators.

Up until now, the Netherlands has been among the most resistant countries when it comes to legalizing the activity.

"It is a big shift (in policy), but this is a new government with a more liberal approach," said Jaap Oosterveer, a spokesman for the Dutch ministry of public safety and justice.

Government officials cited the fact that Dutch citizens have ignored current laws.

Fredrik Teeven, state secretary of security and justice, wrote that hundreds of thousands of Dutch defied a ban by gambling online, and so a change in the law would allow more oversight.

Ladbrokes, Britain's biggest bookmaker, and Betfair, the world's largest online gambling exchange, both challenged Dutch gambling policy unsuccessfully last year at the European Union Court of Justice.

But the Netherlands are looking to follow in the footsteps of countries like France, Italy and Sweden, which at one time were staunch opponents of the industry but in recent years have legalized online gambling.  France and Italy now comprise a significant chunk of the overall Internet poker world market.

The government hopes to begin licensing businesses in 2012.  They anticipate generating some 10 million euros ($14.1 million) yearly. 

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com


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