A Dutch government official postponed a vote in the Senate over the weekend that would have granted the Netherlands-owned Holland Casino a temporary, exclusive online gaming license. The postponed vote came from Minister of Justice Hirsch Ballin. He reasoned that the measure would have been rejected by the Dutch Senate if voted on at this juncture.
Holland Casino has been operating through the Cryptologic Network, which is licensed through their wholly-owned subsidiary WagerLogic Limited, regarding the design of their online room. There has been no official statement following the surprise hold on the planned vote. Interestingly, only a week ago the same Ministry of Justice had announced plans to prosecute Dutch banks and financial institutions that engaged in business or processed payments related to online gambling sites.
The same Ministry also announced their intention to create a blacklist of “rogue” online sites. Such a list would set criteria by which the Dutch government could determine the illegality of related processed transactions.
The Dutch Plan ran the risk of running against recent European Court of Justice rulings regarding the online gambling sector. Time and time again the EU has brought down the efforts of governments within the Community to thwart foreign online gambling activity in their countries. Many of the efforts of these governments have been solely to increase their revenue from this lucrative business and have done so by barring other companies from their respective nations’ markets. These monopolistic endeavors run contrary to the entire free market philosophy that the European Union was founded on.
Some of the countries that have been engaged in the most intense of these debates right now include France, Sweden, Germany, Finland and a slew of other nations. Perhaps these governments still do not understand that their efforts towards monopolizing the online gambling market not only go against the EU philosophy, they upset a multi-billion dollar business. Companies that have a vested interest in the continuation of their ability to operate in foreign countries are willing to and have already paid teams of the best lawyers to ensure their continuation.
Hopefully these issues will be solved sooner than later, being that the true victims of these childish superpower money grabs are the poker players themselves, honest tax-paying citizens who want nothing more than to come home from a hard day of work and play a few hands.