Crackdown planned on illegal gambling

A tougher approach to illegal gambling and more supervision of the gaming industry in general are the main thrusts of draft legislation on gambling, sent out for consultation by justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin on Thursday.

The new law will replace current laws on gambling which were drawn up in 1964.
Nevertheless, the new legislation will continue to restrict casino ownership and internet-based gambling to the state monopoly Holland Casino. The Netherlands is under fire from the EU for refusing to allow other companies to set up legal casinos within its borders.
The draft laws include the setting up of a gambling sector watchdog to deal with licences and to take action when licensing conditions are being broken. Currently, only the courts are allowed to deal with law-breaking.
The watchdog will also tackle promotional games, such a TV phone-ins, which are currently largely unregulated.
In addition, the new law will also define more clearly what can be done with the proceeds of gambling: money raised can either be given to a charity on an approved list or paid to the treasury.
Charity-based lotteries will also be required to draw up a five-year plan outlining how the proceeds will be distributed.

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