Ladbrokes will appeal Dutch gaming block

Ladbrokes said this week that it plans to appeal the decision by Netherlands' courts barring it from accepting Dutch gamblers and will take its complaint to the European Union as well.

The court's decision means that Ladbrokes, owner of Ladbrokes Poker, must block Dutch gamblers from its site. According to Ladbrokes, the state operator had instigated the legal proceedings to protect its monopoly position in the Netherlands.

Charlie McCreevy, the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, said in September the Netherlands is under consideration to be added to a list of seven EU countries - Denmark, Germany, Italy, Holland, Sweden, Hungary and Finland - that are already facing legal action for refusing to open their betting markets.

Several European states have taken action against gaming companies in order to protect their own gambling. Many claim the laws and monopolies protect the public from gambling addiction.

This goes against a European Court of Justice ruling that says a member state can't restrict citizens access to betting services if it also encourages them to participate in state lotteries.

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