Dutch seek help to fight online gambling

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Dutch authorities are upping the stakes in their battle to stop online gaming sites they deem to be illegal.

According to a story with Reuters, the Dutch government has asked banks to stop providing financial services to the targeted online casinos.

"It is illegal to offer gambling services in the Netherlands without a permit," said a Justice Ministry spokeswoman in the article. "These companies know they can break the law."

The spokesperson was slow to name particular companies they are targeting, but Swedish online gaming site Unibet was mentioned, as was Dutch firm Oranje Casino.

In the Netherlands the only online gambling site that is legally permitted is the Dutch state lottery De Lotto.

The exclusionary practices of the Dutch government are considered to be in direct opposition to the European Union, which is pushing its members to open their markets to competition. But Amsterdam is far from alone. In the past France and Greece have also refused to open their markets to the EU.

Earlier this year the EU gave Greece and the Netherlands a final warning before it issues court action over their gaming restrictions.

Meanwhile countries like Britain have opened their doors to online gaming as long as it is regulated.

The United States enacted the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement act in October 2006 with the goal of banning online gambling, but many players continue to play on sites that allow U.S. traffic.

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