Roulette, Bingo, Blackjack or the slot machine. Gambling at home from the couch at an illegal casino is becoming increasingly popular. But more than 60 percent of the players have no idea that online gambling is still prohibited in the Netherlands. A new law will be introduced on Friday. Then casinos with a license are allowed to offer online games of chance.
At the moment, more than 800,000 Dutch people play on illegal sites, such as Unibet and Pokerstars. Although it is forbidden to gamble at these companies, it has been tolerated by politicians for years. Minister Sander Dekker for Legal Protection has called on international gambling sites this week to immediately stop offering online games of chance on the Dutch market, otherwise they can expect sky-high fines.
It is estimated that Dutch gamblers together will spend about 500 million euros this year at illegal online casinos. To put an end to illegal gambling and to regulate the market, it will be allowed to play at licensed casinos from October 1. This week it will be announced which companies will receive one. Now it is only allowed to fill in the Toto online and bet on horses at ZEturf.
This new law is badly needed, says Helma Lodders. She was a VVD Member of Parliament until March this year, but is now chair of the Licensed Dutch Online Gaming Providers (VNLOK), whose members include Holland Casino and the Toto. “You want games to be monitored and preventive measures taken by gambling providers to protect people against gambling addiction.”
Peter-Paul de Goeij, chairman of the Dutch Online Gambling Association, which represents many international gambling companies, believes that Dutch gambling companies in particular are favored. “Providers such as Holland Casino and other providers that have applied for a license naturally hope to benefit from this and get more players.” A large number of international gambling providers do not obtain such a license. “I am very disappointed and I don’t like it.”
Lodders says the rules of the game have long been clear. “We all know that you can’t offer illegal gambling if you want to apply for a license.”
According to a study by Motivaction commissioned by the VNLOK, it appears that a quarter of all players have experienced (financial) problems due to online gambling in the past year. A major problem, according to Peter-Paul de Goeij. “After the new law comes into effect, we will look at, for example, the playing time of players and the amount of money they transfer to their account. Then action must be taken and with a player where it seems that things are not going well.”
In addition, it also appears that 54 percent of Dutch gamblers feel that they are tempted to continue playing by online casinos.
Jaimy Isarin bets a few hundred euros every month on horses, poker or roulette. She, too, sometimes feels tempted to keep going:
‘Before you know it, that 50 euros will be gone again’
“Gaming of chance online is entertainment and that is allowed, but it should not lead to problematic gaming behaviour,” says Lodders. “For example, a bonus may not lead to play-through, while a player actually does not want that. The new law contains strict agreements that you must comply with.”
Therein lies a danger, de Goeij thinks. According to the trade association, illegal online providers will continue to exist. “I have reasons to assume that those players mainly go to the providers where they are promised golden mountains and that is not at Holland casino or at Toto. Those are actually a kind of pirates where massive money is laundered. It is often the place where the upper world meets the underworld.”
The Dutch spend 500 million euros on illegal online casino games
Source link The Dutch spend 500 million euros on illegal online casino games