Incoming Dutch government wants to cash in on internet gambling
The incoming right-wing coalition hopes to rake in millions of euros by legalising online gambling. The money is to come from the sale of gambling licenses to web companies. At present more than 500,000 Dutch citizens participate in online gambling, despite the fact that it is illegal.
Holland Casino Holland Casino, the largest casino in the Netherlands, has already indicated it would like to operate a legal gambling site to "Drive away illegal operators".
Addiction care Dutch addiction care centres are divided on the proposal. A spokesperson for the Tactus addiction centre says "As a government, you should ask yourself whether you should be stimulating gambling".
Stricter oversight However, IVO, a Rotterdam addiction research institute, favours legalisation. It argues that legalising gambling will make for better oversight of both gamblers and web companies. Spokesperson Carola Schrijvers says: "if we do it right, and set the right conditions to operators, it could be an advantage".
Safety net Mark Woldberg from Holland Casino believes it will be possible for people to gamble in relative safety after legalisation. "Attention should be paid to adequate preconditions, such as an admission pass which must be picked up in person with a valid photo ID. A pre-set maxium amount, or the introduction of a 'cooling-down' button, would also create additional barriers."
Wait and see However, it is not yet clear whether legalisation of internet gambling will actually come to pass. The incoming cabinet still has to safely steer its preposal through both houses of parliament.
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