British online betting group sues Dutch government

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Betfair says the Dutch government’s instructions to banks to block payments from Dutch clients who want to place an online bet with Betfair is illegal.

THE HAGUE – British on-line betting group Betfair said on Thursday it had lodged a legal complaint against the Dutch government, which has told banks to block payments from Betfair clients.

It said the suit had been filed on Wednesday with a court in The Hague in response to a letter to banks from the Dutch justice ministry instructing them not to execute payments from Dutch clients who want to place an online bet with Betfair.

The company added that the suit could result in a demand for millions of euros in compensation for damages suffered. Betfair said it had also lodged a formal complaint with the European Union's executive commission.

Betfair maintains that the Dutch government's "illegal" action is aimed at protecting a Dutch monopoly on gaming and is contrary to the free circulation of services in the European Union.

The Dutch gaming sector is controlled by several lotteries and the Holland Casino.

The justice ministry has said on its website that "offering games of chance on the Internet is banned".

When contacted by AFP, the court was not able to say when the complaint will be considered.

AFP / Expatica

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