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Netherlands government considers Holland casino privatisation

Creating more than a frisson of interest this week, the Dutch News.nl website reported that Dutch junior finance minister Frans Weekers has revealed that the Netherlands government is considering selling off the state-monopolised Holland Casino group.

The publication directly quoted Weekers as telling members of the Dutch parliament: "We are looking at privatisation. It is not taboo."

He revealed that discussion on the issue was taking place at Cabinet level, and that precautions against the formation of any private monopoly; underaged and problem gambling; and measures against the involvement of organised crime and the possibility of money laundering would be a central requirement in any sell-off.

Weekers said that the government's conclusions on the privatisation would probably be presented in March this year.

Holland Casino has 14 operations in the Netherlands and contributed €164 million in tax revenues in 2009.

The Dutch have been under increasing pressure from the European Commission to abandon state-monopolised gambling and follow the examples of other European states in adopting a more liberal gambling approach.

Unfortunately, the junior minister's news was just that to the management at Holland Casino, which professed to be 'very surprised' at the ministerial revelation.

Source: InfoPowa News

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