altDespite a recent, huge step in the world of online gambling in the Netherlands, whereby the government has finally agreed to allow non-governmental competitors to bid for licences, effectively ending the existing state-run monopoly, it has equally taken a step back when it comes to promoting gambling sites to its residents. Social networking giant, Facebook, has agreed that if the Dutch Gaming Authority (Kansspelautoriteit) requests they block gambling ads targeted at Netherland consumers, they will do so. The Authority recently released a statement saying that the social media site is taking the necessary steps to conform to current Dutch legislation which does not allow media websites to encourage illegal gambling. Currently, the ban is widely ignored, which is causing additional concerns to Kansspelautoriteit who say that Facebook offers “easy access to youngsters.” Paul Tang, speaking on behalf of the Authority, says the social media organisation is now “showing it takes its social responsibilities seriously.”

This means that any online casino, poker site, or bingo site without a licence will not be able to target residents of the Netherlands who use Facebook. However, if the social media site had chosen to ignore the Dutch government’s request to conform to their legislation, they would be putting themselves at risk of receiving significant fines. Although it appears as if new, draft online gambling legislation may lead to significant reform if it is passed in 2015, the only legal gambling authority in the country at present is the state-run Holland Casino.

Despite Holland spawning its very own online bingo site with a difference – Bingocams – the Dutch government has actively opposed internet gambling since 2005. Technically, Dutch players are allowed to wager with real money at websites hosted in the Netherlands, but the government has yet to give out any licences. If the new legislation is passed in 2015, external applicants will be able to apply for licences in order to offer online poker, casino, bingo, and sports betting to residents of the Netherlands, but all applications will be subject to “very strict conditions,” according to Fred Teeven, the Junior Justice Minister.

We always love to hear the views from our readers, so why not let us know how you’d feel if you were only able to play at UK government-run online gaming sites? Do you think that the lack of choice would encourage to play elsewhere illegally? Alternatively, perhaps you think having the government controlling where you play would mean a safer, fairer, better-controlled online bingo experience?

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