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Operators in the Netherlands displeased with licence auction plan

Online gambling firms operating in the Netherlands are opposed to government plans to auction a limited number of operating licences in 2012, the Financieele Dagblad newspaper reported this week.

The row has its roots in a government plan to raise €10 million by issuing a set number of licenses for online gambling operations, a sector of the Dutch economy that has been the subject of fierce litigation as European gambling companies have tried to penetrate the market, citing EU principles of free passage of goods and services.

Holland's state monopoly company De Lotto and its Holland Casino dominate a domestic gambling market in which it is illegal to target Dutch online gamblers, even in spite of them to be determined internet punters.

The online gaming foundation Stichting Online Gaming Nederland (STIOGG) says that proper regulation can only be stimulated if there are an unlimited number of licenses for online poker, betting and bingo.

The government is currently drawing up draft legislation in an environment where the national audit office has warned that the state's land gambling monopoly - Holland Casino - is pushing its luck trying to expand catering and entertainment operations.

Audit officials have warned that the casino management is supposed to building on an anti-addiction platform to comply with EU law, and that expanding casino properties into wider entertainment centres could be seen as contradictory.

Source: InfoPowa News

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