The Netherlands may ban online gambling

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The Netherlands is allowed to continue the ban on the provision of gambling via the Internet, ruled the European Court of Justice on Thursday. The Court ruled the Netherlands may ban the provision of Internet gambling to protect consumers and prevent fraud. The ruling further stated that a country should take such a measure to prevent the "squandering of money on gambling".

"De Lotto" (national lottery) is the only online gambling service permitted in the Netherlands, as the government has decided to monitor on-line gambling.

The verdict came Thursday in the case of "De Lotto" against British betting company Ladbrokes, which, according to "De Lotto" offered online gambling on the Dutch market without authorization.

The case was fought in the Supreme Court without success for Ladbrokes. The Supreme Court then asked the Supreme State Council and the European Court of Justice for their rulings.

The British company Betfair was unsuccessful in a similar case it had brought against the Netherlands Department of Justice on Thursday. Betfair also wanted access to the Dutch market for online gambling, but the claim was also dismissed with a reference to consumer protection and combating fraud.

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