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Dutch Report Dutch Report
by Euro Reporter
2009-04-01 09:55:05
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TV and poker shows

Three television broadcasters and one production company have been warned by justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin to stop making programmes about the gambling game poker. ‘The broadcasters have overstepped the mark. These programmes give people the idea that poker is completely legal and harmless,’ the NRC reports the minister as saying during a debate.

Under Dutch gambling law, poker may only be played in branches of the state-owned monopoly holder Holland Casino. Playing poker online is illegal and it may only be played in private homes if no money changes hands. According to the Dutch poker association, some 800,000 people in Holland play the game, the paper says. Hirsch Ballin made his comments in response to calls from two MPs for a more liberal attitude to poker.

All the …money!


Van Gaal lost cash to Madoff

Football coach Louis van Gaal has lost a fortune to American securities fraudster Bernard Madoff. Van Gaal, manager at Alkmaar football club AZ, was part of a group which invested €1.5m Euros with Fairfield Security, which then invested the money with Madoff, the paper says.

Former boxer Regilio Tuur has also lost money in the Madoff fraud. Former WBO world title holder Tuur faces eviction from his home in the chic PC Hooftstraat because he has not paid the rent for six months, the paper says.

Stock market is a different kind of …game and there is no referee there!


Minister to tackle public TV overload

Culture minister Ronald Plasterk wants to make it easier to remove broadcasters from the public broadcasting system. He told parliament that broadcasters which are not fulfilling their remit should lose their licence more quickly than is currently the case, Dutch media report. At the moment, public broadcasting companies are inspected every five years to see if their programmes still adhere to the spirit of public broadcasting. If the report is negative, they are then given a further five years in which to improve their programming, after which their licence can be revoked. In practice this has never happened.

Plasterk wants to reduce the time between the 'yellow card' and the 'red card' to two years, say media reports. His aim is to keep down the number of broadcasters in the public system which is threatening to become unmanageable. There are at least 14 public broadcasting companies occupying airtime on the three public channels.

New licences are issued every five years and broadcasters can submit their plans to the minister, provided they have signed up 50,000 members. If the minister is convinced they will add something new to the current programming, he will approve their application. They then get two hours TV time and nine hours radio time a week.

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