DUTCH SENATE TAKES A MORE CAUTIOUS APPROACH
Proposal to give state-owned Holland Casino an exclusive three year run is rejected
Dutch media reports indicate that a controversial proposal before the Dutch Senate to give an exclusive and protectionist three year online gambling license for the Netherlands to the state-owned Holland Casino.com has been rejected, suggesting a more cautious approach by Dutch legislators acutely aware of the scrutiny of the European Commission (see previous InfoPowa reports)
It is not yet known how this will impact the Internet operations of the casino, which has recently been in the throes of an extensive revamp, working with turnkey provider Cryptologic.
The Netherlands has been at the centre of many disputes in which gambling companies in other European Union nations sought to claim their right to the free movement of goods and services between the 27 nations in the trade bloc. State monopoly De Lotto has fought and locally won determined legal actions to exclude competition for its lucrative exclusivity and the country has been warned by the EU enforcement agency that its practices are not compliant with EU requirements.
Earlier this year a vote on the subject scheduled for the Senate was postponed by Minister of Justice Ernst Hirsch Ballin, who reasoned he was concerned that the measure would be rejected. And there have been reports that the government was also mulling the introduction of plans to prosecute Dutch banks and financial institutions that processed payments headed to online gambling sites.
The European Commission has been increasing the pressure on EU member nations with gaming monopolies to bring them into compliance with EU directives that guarantee fellow members free movement of goods and services in terms of Article 49 of the EU Treaty.