Tuesday 01 December 2020

Gambling authority head says failure to pass internet law is a disgrace

The failure of successive Dutch governments to pass legislation to regulate online gambling is a disgrace, according to Jan Suyver, the head of the Dutch gambling authority who is leaving the job after six years.

‘The Netherlands is almost the only country left in the EU which has not regulated online gambling, Suyver says in an interview with the Financieele Dagblad. ‘It is organised everywhere I go, in Bucharest, in Prague. It is a disgrace for the Netherlands, and abroad they do not understand why legislation has not yet been passed.’

One reason, he suggests, is opposition from the two strict Protestant parties in parliament – ChristenUnie and the SGP. The Socialists too have trouble with legalising gambling, the FD points out.

An estimated 500,000 to one million people in the Netherlands use online gambling sites and by not passing legislation ‘you are keeping the illegal circuit going’, says Suyver. ‘We have a moral duty to make sure that legislation is in place,’ he told the paper.

The legislation to licence online gambling in the Netherlands is currently with the senate, which had been due to discuss it after this summer’s recess, the Telegraaf said earlier this year.

Currently, foreign firms are not supposed to target gamblers in the Netherlands, although the ban is widely ignored. The current laws date back 50 years, before the advent of internet.

The draft legislation also states that 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.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.