Minister wants radical changes to poker policy

4th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin has argued for creating more legal poker venues, to fight against gambling addiction.

The Hague – In a letter to parliament, Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin has argued for creating more venues where people can legally play poker for money.

Playing poker for money is only legal in the Holland Casino but some 575,000 people are reported to be playing illegally, via the internet or in bars. The minister said this group is predominantly made up of men between 15 and 34 years of age, for whom the distance to the official casino is too great or who prefer to play in smaller venues.

These young men, Hirsch Ballin insists, are at much greater risk of becoming addicted to gambling.

To try to curb the illegal circuit, the justice ministry will launch a pilot in collaboration with Holland Casino in which poker players will be offered a number of venues outside the casino where they can play poker for money.

Radio Netherlands / Anna Ritchie / Expatica

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