Dutch officials crackdown on illegal web casinos

Dutch authorities intend to crack down on illegal online casinos and are calling on banks to stop providing financial services to them, a Reuters report said.

The quoted a Justice Ministry spokeswoman saying that 'It is illegal to offer gambling services in the Netherlands without a permit. These companies know they break the law.'

She confirmed that Swedish online gamer Unibet and Dutch firm Oranje Casino, were targets, but declined to name other companies.

The ministry has drawn up a list of 30 to 50 internet gamers and has asked banks to stop services to these companies, the report said.

The spokeswoman added dossiers would be passed to the public prosecutor who would be tasked with bringing cases to court.

In the Netherlands, only the Dutch state lottery De Lotto has a permit to offer online gambling, and last month the Dutch upper house defeated a bill that would have allowed Holland Casino to open a gambling website on a trial basis, the Reuters report said.

The Dutch approach to online gaming has put it on a collision course with the European Union, which is pushing for member states to open up their markets to competition.

In February the EU gave Greece and the Netherlands a final warning before it initiates court action over restrictions in their gaming markets.

Most of the illegal web gambling relies on credit cards.