During a raid on a premises in Amsterdam, suspected of facilitating illegal gambling activities, the police in the Netherlands have arrested 11 individuals.
In collaboration with the regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the police conducted a raid on a location situated on Nieuwpoortkade in Amsterdam-West on May 20. The operation was prompted by reports of illegal commercial gambling occurring at the premises.
During the raid, authorities discovered individuals engaged in an illicit poker game. The police seized playing cards, poker equipment, drugs, and two firearms. Electronic devices such as phones and hard drives were also confiscated as part of the investigation.
The identities and involvement of the arrested individuals are still under investigation, and ownership of the firearms has yet to be determined.
KSA provided support to the police during the operation and is currently preparing its own report on the case. They emphasized that illegal gambling poses unfair competition to licensed companies that adhere to regulations, particularly in preventing gambling addiction among customers.
KSA further stated,
“The presence of illegal gambling activities and narcotics in a business park constitutes a breach of public order. Moreover, locations hosting illegal gambling serve as breeding grounds for criminal activities and provide opportunities for money laundering. Such places may attract individuals who are not hesitant to resort to violence.”
Unlawful poker activities
In the Netherlands, poker gambling is strictly regulated and only permitted at designated locations such as Holland Casino. However, there has been a recent surge in police raids targeting illegal poker activities in response to reports of illicit operations.
According to Casino Nieuws, earlier this year, two separate instances of illegal poker tournaments were disrupted by law enforcement.
In January, four individuals were apprehended in Valkenswaard for organizing an illegal poker event. Additionally, one month later in Vlissingen, two individuals were arrested during an illegal cash game.
Privatization of Nederlandse Loterij
Recent reports have revealed that the Netherlands is currently considering various options for the future of Nederlandse Loterij (NLO), which could potentially include privatizing the state-owned enterprise.
The evaluation of the state’s ownership in NLO was released by Dutch Finance Minister Marnix van Rij. The government conducts these evaluations every seven years for all state-owned assets. This year, the focus was on determining the status of NLO and Holland Casino.
According to the report, the lottery company, NLO, is deemed “financially and organizationally ready for privatization.”