Again the Netherlands' Government has rejected the criticism from the European Commission on its gambling policy. In its written response Minister Hirsch Ballin of Justice shows tenacity.
Earlier this week, the commissioner released a reminder from the European Commission to the state. It concluded that the Dutch defence of the Gaming Act (WoK) was as leaky as a sieve. The European Commission deals with several countries covering the same area, in particular on state monopolies and strict licensing. The Commission considers both incompatible with the fundamental principle of free trade. New entrepreneurs are now restricted from entering certain gambling markets and it draws protests in Europe.
Following the release of a confidential document, the ministry has now also made their official response public. In this brief the government again stresses that the policy is sustainable in current form because it prevents gambling addiction and protects the consumer. By offering an attractive and legal alternative to illegal gambling the government also offers a gambling market which is regulated, free from, for example, money laundering and the financing of terrorism will be detected in an early stage. In defence the statement, "fraud is accepted by the Court as a compelling reason of public interest", was rubbed under the European nose.
The confusion about advertising spending by De Lotto, Brussels operation had a higher outcome than the Dutch, is due to the unclear definition of the term 'advertising expenditure', is contained in the letter. Moreover, stressed the Empire, is advertising for gambling allowed to the Dutch as attentive to legally gokgelegenheden.
The Netherlands refers indirectly to the accusation by the Commission that the government does not prove, for example with pertinent figures that its policy of anti hypertensive gambling addiction works, as trash.
Earlier this month Pokerminded Netherlands also showed its strength to Hirsch Ballin. With a petition from fans of the game protesting against the new Law on Gaming. From January 1 2008, new gaming rules will be introduced by the Cabinet. Thus online poker will only be allowed on internet sites provided by Holland Casino, thus increasing the tax revenue income from poker. A poker player must now pay 40 Euro cents for every Euro of profit.
On the 'NPS Lijn5' radio programme, Dutch poker legend, Marcel Luske spoke of a "dictatorial decision." "It's clear that this policy is only aimed at the governments' tax revenue".
The European Commission will decide within two months what its next step will be.