Not all poker players are happy with plans by the justice minister to allow people to play poker for money outside of the state-owned Holland Casino but under its control, reports nu.nl.
Justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin (Christian Democrat) announced his plans to experiment with increasing the number of places poker can be played in a letter to MPs on Tuesday.
He says the move is an attempt to meet growing demand and reduce illegal gambling, report various media.
At present Holland Casino has a monopoly on the poker market. But many poker players find these 14 casinos too expensive and want to organise their own small-scale games in local cafes.
And they are not enthusiastic that the minister’s plans to relax the rules on poker still involve Holland Casino.
Under the new scheme, Holland Casino could, for example, set up a poker table within other existing gambling halls, says the Telegraaf.
Coalition partners divided
According to research around 575,000 people, mainly men aged between 15 and 34, play poker illegally, either on the internet or elsewhere.
The Christian Democrats’ coalition parties are divided in their response to the scheme. Labour MP Lea Bouwmeester says she is ‘very happy’ with the move saying it is the right way to tackle illegal poker games, reports Nu.nl.
But the ChristenUnie is critical saying that this is not the way to tackle the problem of gambling addiction.
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