Dutch police arrest 11 in illegal gambling raids
Working in partnership with regulator de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), police carried out the raid at a location on Nieuwpoortkade in Amsterdam-West on 20 May. This was in response to reports of illegal commercial gambling taking place at the site.
During the raid, investigators discovered people taking part in an illegal poker game. Police recovered playing cards and other poker supplies, as well as drugs and two firearms,
Investigators also seized a number of electronic devices including phones and hard drives.
Police said investigations into the arrested individuals remain ongoing, while it is not yet clear as to who owns the firearms.
KSA supported the police during the raid and is in the process of preparing its own report on the case.
“Illegal gambling involves unfair competition with companies that do have a licence and must comply with all kinds of rules, for example to prevent gambling addiction among customers,” KSA said.
“The presence of this kind of illegal gambling activities and narcotics on a business park constitutes an infringement of public order.
“In addition, places where illegal gambling takes place are a breeding ground for crime and these places offer the opportunity to launder criminal money. There is a chance that this will attract people who are not afraid to use violence.”
Poker gaming in the Netherlands is only legal at Holland Casino country-specific locations. However, the police in recent months have carried out a number of similar raids in response to reports of illegal activity.
Casino Nieuws reported that earlier this year, two illegal poker tournaments were broken up by police.
In January, four suspects were arrested in Valkenswaard for organising an illegal event. One month later in Vlissingen, two people were arrested during an illegal cash game.
This week, it emerged that the Netherlands is “exploring” new options for Nederlandse Loterij (NLO), including the possibility of privatising the state-owned enterprise.
Dutch finance minister Marnix van Rij released an evaluation of the state’s shareholding in the NLO. The government plans these evaluations on a regular seven-year cycle for all state-owned assets. This year the main question concerned the status of the NLO and Holland Casino.
The report said that the lottery company would be “ready for privatisation both financially and organisationally”.