Dutch Online Gambler Keeps Winnings

Published Thursday, June 18, 2009 - Online-Casinos.com

Recently in the Hague the government announced it would allow a Dutch woman to retain her $4.3 million euros that she won on an internet slot machine. This ruling comes despite the fact that there is a ban on internet gambling in the country.

The online gambling firm Unibet confirmed that the 33-year-old gamer from the central province of Utrecht is ready to pay a large portion of the prize won on Sunday to the government tax officials, and they seem very willing to accept the funds.

"About $1.1 million euros will go to the taxman, with the rest I want to make my family happy," the unidentified woman said through a Unibet statement which described her reaction as one of "disbelief, surprise, but mainly joy."

The Dutch justice ministry said online betting was illegal in the Netherlands, as was the practice of foreign gambling companies offering any services on the Dutch market. Spokesperson, for the Dutch justice ministry, Ivo Hommes said of the situation, "This is a clear contravention of the gambling law," adding, an investigation into the activities of Unibet, founded in 1997 and listed on the Stockholm stock exchange, was ongoing.

The justice ministry has recently warned Dutch banks not to facilitate financial transactions involving Unibet or other 'illegal' operators. When asked about the proceeds Hommes could not say what would happen if the woman put her money in a Dutch account, apart from, "She will have to pay tax, whether the money comes into the country legally or illegally." It was "unlikely," he said, that the money would be seized as criminal proceeds. It is estimated that 400,000 Dutch citizens or about 3.8 percent gamble on offshore sites spending somewhere between $90 and 280 million euros per year.

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