The judge in Amsterdam ordered the release of the director of online bookmaker Unibet last Wednesday. Petter Nylander, was arrested Monday at Schiphol after he had checked in for a flight to the United Kingdom.
Nylander was arrested at the request of French authorities. He would have infringed on the French gambling policy. The director was released under certain conditions one of them being that he may not leave the Netherlands and his passport was confiscated. Nylander must also stay available for a possible lawsuit in France.
In the Netherlands gambling is restricted to only the government monopolies such as The Lotto and Holland Casino. Both Holland and France's restrictions are contrary to the EU legislation, believes Unibet. The company has a gambling licence in the United Kingdom, Malta and Italy for offering gambling on the Internet.
The Dutch court in Utrecht decided that Unibet must cease its activities. For every day that the company ignores this ruling, it must pay € 100,000 to The Lotto, who had the interim measures instituted. The Dutch gambling policy is the subject of investigation by the European Commission. Commissioner Charlie McCreevy (Internal Market) and Dutch Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin (Justice) have thoroughly disagreed on whether the Netherlands must permit other bookmakers from other EU Member States to operate within its borders.
A spokesman from the European Commission said last Tuesday in a reaction to the arrest of Nylander that the French legislation involving gaming was not consistent with European laws. The Frence had therefore to adapt its law, he said.