Dutch Study Cites Need for More Legal Internet Gambling

12 October 2005

The Dutch Ministry of Justice, in conjunction with the Tax Authority, the Public Prosecution Service, the National Police Agency (KLPD), the Fiscal Intelligence & Economic Investigation Service and Verispect (Dutch test agency), this week unveiled a plan to reduce the number of illegal games of chance on the Internet.

According to Dutch law, Internet gambling is illegal if the Web site in question targets the Dutch market--alone or together with other countries--because there is no guarantee whatsoever that the participants have a fair chance of winning, that payment transactions are safe and that any prizes will actually be paid. The new three-pronged approach entails:

  1. the development of policy instruments and resources for tracking the illegal Web sites on the Internet;

  2. the discouragement of the provision of (and participation in) illegal games of chance on the Internet through public information (e.g. by putting information on the Justice Ministry's Web site); and

  3. addressing illegal providers of games and intermediaries through a combination of administrative, tax, civil and criminal law.

The approach is based on a KLPD study titled "Kansspelen op Internet" (Games of Chance on the Internet) and drafted at the request of Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner. The report concludes that over 750 interactive sites had been discovered. Nearly two-thirds of them involved e-gaming (i.e. interactive gambling on the Internet), and more than one-quarter of the cases involved gambling products accessed via banners or portals. The rest were e-commerce cases in which the Internet was used as a way of selling games of chance.

Almost 30 percent of the providers targeted the Dutch market exclusively and over 60 percent targeted other countries as well. In nearly half of the cases (45 percent), the provider was of Dutch origin.

Rob van der Gaast has a background in sports journalism. He worked for over seven years as the head of sports for Dutch National Radio and has developed new concepts for the TV and the gambling industry. Now he operates from Istanbul as an independent gambling research analyst. He specializes in European gambling matters and in privatizations of gambling operators. Rob has contributed to IGN since Jul 09, 2001.