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Reports


NETHERLANDS


Lottery Holding in 2002 and around 1.3 million tickets are sold to 900,000 people each month. In 2008 the lottery supported 50 cultural organisations which received €58m.


HORSEBETTING Betting on horse racing can be done via the track or sports book sites since January 2007 and via the internet. The licensee is Scientific Games and at least 50 per cent must be returned in prizes. Net profit generally goes to equestrian related sports associations. SG Racing provides full venue management for racetracks and OTB parlours in the Netherlands including an internet wagering site for the Dutch market. In 2008 saw total sales of €7.5m for the Dutch racing market.


Meanwhile in the land of online gaming the Dutch government continues it resistance against licensed European online gaming operators who currently provide their services in the Netherlands.


It is believed that more than one million Dutch residents participated in illegal gambling during the last 12 months.


A bill for a pilot project passed by the Dutch House of Representatives in


September 2006 to permit online gaming was rejected by the Senate in April 2008 by 37 votes to 35. The legislation would have permitted interactive internet gaming on an experimental three year basis which would have been operated by Holland Casino only.


It was to be held under strict conditions to enable the government to gain experience and insight into the effects of online gaming.


The rejected proposal is proving to be a major set back for many sectors particularly Holland Casino who has now had to rethink its strategy for the future whilst writing off investments it made into this sector during the last year or so.


The company says the decision will also have a negative impact on the organisation’s results since illegal gaming offered by overseas operators will affect the real-world gaming activities of Holland Casino.


The group has now asked the government to explore new avenues by which legal, regulated and reliable online gaming opportunities can be created and the Minister of Justice has agreed to review the possibility of legalising online gaming.


InMay last year, Betfair filed an


actionwith the civil district court


against theDutch


government saying it called for payment


blocking on gambling web sites.


As Marc Aarts of Suzo Happ said: “When our sector is not able to offer online gaming it is another major blow for our market. Although there are still a huge group of players who like to go out and visit an arcade for the atmosphere I hope we can share online gaming in the future to offer it to the market together with Holland Casino.”


At the moment, although it is not permitted to operate internet gaming, or indeed play it, there are a number of lotteries where it is permitted to buy tickets via internet or use the internet to bet on horses.


A case is currently being heard with the European Court of Justice as UK gambling giants Betfair and Ladbrokes take on the Dutch government.


In May last year, Betfair filed an action with the civil district court against the Dutch government saying it called for payment blocking on gambling web sites.


Betfair say the Dutch Ministry of Justice circulated a letter to the banks asking them not to process payments from Dutch customers who wanted to bet on English betting group web sites.


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