House backs state company for Internet gambling in Netherlands

The Lower House in the Netherlands has supported a proposal by Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner for a two year trial of licensing Internet games of chance in the nation. State-owned Holland Casino will be issued a license, which would make it the only legal online gambling site in the nation.

An estimated 300,000 people occasionally gamble online illegally in the Netherlands, and the nation would like to attract them to a state-controlled site instead. However, if the number of Internet gamblers in the nation has increased after two years, the minister said the trial will not have succeeded.

The new gambling site will not have a gambling limit set , except for people between the ages of 18 and 23 who will be limited to €100 per week. Donner explained that a maximum amount would be unnecessarily restrictive for people who can afford higher limits, while those who can't afford it might take higher risks than they can handle.

The Netherlands only allows the one, state-controlled gambling provider - Holland Casino, which is a practice banned by the European Union because it creates a monopoly in the nation. Donner claims that it is allowed, though, because the Dutch government policy is aimed at preventing gambling addiction.

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