Hirsch Ballin wants to tackle Internet gambling

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Minister Hirsch Ballin (Justice) wants to tackle the Internet gambling 'problem'. Banks and credit card companies may no longer do business with gambling sites. The government is worried about the increasing number of people who are using the Internet to take part in all sorts of illegal play that are offered by foreign companies, especially poker which has become increasingly popular on the Internet creating addiction, particularly among young people.

Hirsch BallinWith this measure the Netherlands would follow the example of the United States, which previously introduced legislation that prohibits credit card companies from making payments to online gambling services. Last year the Dutch political party, Christian Union called for similar legislation in the Netherlands.

According to the Ministry of Justice about thirty major gambling sites are recruiting Dutch clients. They attract about 400,000 players creating an amount of between 90 and 280 million euros per year in revenue. Hirsch Ballin wants a black list of illegal gambling sites which will then be given to banks and credit card companies.

In the Netherlands, officially the Lotto is the only online gambling company. However, many foreign companies are also active in the Netherlands thanks to the Internet. The minister prohibits financial institutions from continuing to cooperate in payments for illegal gambling. He expected then to heed the ban. If they do not, they will be prosecuted.

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