02/28/2012 : STRONG ANTI-ONLINE GAMBLING RULING FROM DUTCH SUPREME COURT
But can a Dutch court compel offshore operators to install software blocking Dutch punters?
The Dutch legislative environment for online gambling took a new direction this week when Dutch News.nl reported a fresh Dutch Supreme Court ruling that on the face of it appears to claim remarkable jurisdictional reach.
The court has ordered that international internet gambling operators who wish to access Dutch punters must install software that blocks access to their product by would be Dutch online gamblers.
The court has placed the onus on carrying out this ruling on the operator, effectively freeing the government from accusations of interfering with the internet by ordering blocks by Internet Service Providers.
The Dutch authorities have, however, retained their threat to block financial transactions, reminding banks in Holland that they could face prosecution if they continue to ignore government demands that they halt online gambling financial transactions by Dutch citizens with unlicensed online gambling operators.
In March last year the Dutch government abandoned a previously virulently anti-online gambling policy for a more enlightened and regulatory approach. Politicians said that they wanted to grant licenses for Internet gambling services in the Netherlands and lift old restrictions that hundreds of thousands of Dutch players were ignoring every year anyway.
The change of heart followed a switch in political direction when a coalition government won the October 2010 elections At the time, the government envisaged an auction of Internet gambling and lottery licenses to generate at least Euro 10 million per year for its coffers starting from 2012.