Ladbrokes has lost its marathon seven-year court case with the gaming authorities of the Netherlands for the right to take bets from Dutch online gamblers.
Although the European Court of Justice acknowledged that Dutch gaming legislation is technically a restriction on EU rules guaranteeing freedom of movement and the freedom to provide services, the judges said such a restriction “may be justified by the objectives of consumer protection and the prevention of both fraud and incitement to squander money on gambling, as well as the need to preserve public order”.
It’s all a load of bollocks, really. Protectionism pure and simple. Which leaves you wondering what on earth the point is in having EU rules guaranteeing the freedom of movement and the freedom to provide services, if everyone just does whatever the fuck want anyway?
In fact, from a UK perspective, the more you think about the EU, the more relieved the Brits have got to be that Blighty didn’t throw its lot in with its European cousins not so long ago. If the UK had joined the Euro, most experts believe Britain would be far worse off than it actually is, and some reckon it would be in as bad a mess as Greece, whose economic problems have led to the Euro go through the floor.
The Netherlands isn’t the first place to get heavy on international gambling companies, and it certainly won’t be the last but the reason it is so disappointing is because this is fucking Holland we’re talking about.
Anyone who’s been to Amsterdam, or Rotterdam come to think of it, will have sampled, or at least been able to sample, the delights of their relaxed approach to sex and soft drugs. So their latest stance on gambling goes completely against the grain.
What’s more, it brings a whole new meaning to going Dutch. It’s not so much a case of saying, let’s both pay for the meal as saying, actually I’ll eat and you can fuck off – unless you pay through the nose for the privilege. Holland, you dishappoint me, for shure. Read more.