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Dutch bankers oppose policing of Internet gambling sites

December 3, 2008 2008

A move to involve the banking industry in enforcing a Dutch-style UIGEA proposal is facing opposition from the representatives of the Netherlands Bankers Association (NVB).

The Online Gambling Act was countered recently in a formal statement from the Association, protesting against Dutch Justice Minister Hirsch Ballin’s plan to curtail financial transactions.

The NVB told Ballin that his plan to use Dutch financial institutions to police online poker and Internet gambling sites is neither practical nor legal.

NVB spokesman Michel Noordermeer stated: “The Minister wants us to become an extension of the justice system, but that is not the role of the banks.” Noordermeer asserted that EU rules dictated that banks continue to serve online gambling sites, and that the Dutch government should prosecute an Internet casino operator before trying to ask the banks to enforce a questionable law. He said the Betting and Gaming Act, in conjunction with EU law, would almost certainly preclude the Dutch plan.

A Ministry spokesperson dismissed the NVB’s comments saying: “Justice bases itself on Dutch law in fighting illegal Internet gaming and there is no room for free choice on the side of the banks. European law has no influence on this.” The matter remains under consideration at several levels of Holland’s government.

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