‘Serious about online gaming’

THE HAGUE–Acting Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Stef Blok and State Secretary of Security and Justice Klaas Dijkhoff are taking the concerns of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament about (illegal) gambling very seriously.

Minister Blok, who temporarily replaces Minister Ronald Plasterk due to recovery from heart surgery, on Tuesday replied to the two sets of written questions posed by Member of the Second Chamber Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP) in May this year regarding (illegal) gambling activities offered from Curaçao online casinos and the reported role of the accountancy firm KPMG.

Blok stated that he and State Secretary Dijkhoff were serious about preventing the expansion of illegal gambling activities from Curaçao in the Netherlands. That is why Dutch Minister of Security and Justice Ard van der Steur during a meeting of the four Justice Ministers in the Kingdom early June brought up the need for supervision on internet gambling.

According to Blok, a national ordinance is being prepared by the Curaçao Government to regulate the supervision on online gambling. The Minister emphasized that the offering of gambling activities from Curaçao was an autonomous affair of the Country Curaçao. “Therefore it is a responsibility of the Curaçao Government and of the Curaçao Prosecutor’s Office to secure a proper supervision of online gambling,” stated Blok.

The Minister made clear that it was not possible for him to respond to the questions of Van Raak about individual Curaçao companies, company structures and citizens as this was outside his authority. Van Raak had asked several questions regarding the reported role of KPMG in relation to the telecommunications company UTS and the casino owner Francesco Corallo.

Referring to the Bientu case, which included the investigation of gambling and lottery activities, Blok stated that the Curaçao Prosecutor has shown that it acts against wrong-doings that affected the integrity of the local Government and which involved the gambling industry.

The Minister explained that the Dutch Gaming Authority doesn’t have a mandate to act outside the Netherlands, and that as such it cannot intervene in the local gambling industry. However, the organisation does promote the improvement and more structural cooperation with Curaçao.

According to Blok, the July 5, 2016, motion of Members of Parliament Nine Kooiman (SP) and Jeroen van Wijngaarden of the liberal democratic VVD party that called for a larger influence of the Dutch Gaming Authority in Curaçao and St. Maarten, and which was widely supported by the Second Chamber, “emphasized that particular attention was needed on this matter.” Blok stated that State Secretary Dijkhoff would respond to this motion at a later time.

The Dutch Gaming Authority has investigated several reports about online gambling offered by Curaçao websites in the Netherlands. “It concerned illegal gambling with a limited size on the Dutch market. The investigation resulted in interventions, after which the transgressions were ended.” Informal enforcement instruments were used to halt illegal lotteries and fines were imposed to online gaming services.

Minister Blok further noted, in response to a question by Van Raak about the role of the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT, that the CFT didn’t have the authority to act in this matter, and that he was not planning to expand the authorities of the CFT.
Source: Daily Herald
‘Serious about online gaming’