Some 1.5 million Dutch people gamble online even though such websites are technically banned in the Netherlands, according to new research published on Friday and quoted by Nos.
In total, people spend more than €500m gambling online, showing the market is far bigger than estimated earllier, according to research by Motivaction for the state-owned Holland Casino group.
If correct, the figures would mean one in 10 of the Netherlands’ over-12s is an online gambler. Of the total, 700,000 gamble three times a year or less, Motivaction said.
The government is expected to legalise online gambling in 2017. Although the practice is banned, many overseas websites target the Dutch market.
However, the legislation, which should have gone through parliament this year, is still pending and MPs have doubts about who should be allowed to enter the Dutch market
The Telegraaf said in April more than 200 companies have expressed an interest in a licence to offer online gambling in the Netherlands.
The draft proposals also state the licence holders will have to contribute to a special fund to help gambling addicts. In addition, there will be a national register of players who break self-imposed limits and will be banned from playing.
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