A brewing online gambling controversy has raised divisions within the Dutch government.
Whose Problem Is It?
The question of Dutch jurisdiction in Curacao has arisen as a result of suspicions harbored by some Dutch government officials of links between online operators in the island nation and organized crime.
Plasterk Says Not Ours
In a formal response to Parliamentary questions from Dutch MPs Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP) and Andre Bosman of the ruling party VVD, Dutch Minister of Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk disavowed responsibility for jurisdiction over illegal activities in Curacao.
Technically, only online casinos in Curacao serving the Dutch market are administered to by the Netherlands Parliament, through the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice in the Hague. Since online casinos are global operations that serve beyond the Dutch market, Plasterk asserts that these Curacao casinos are not within the supervision of his Ministry.
Some Suspect UTS
Widespread reports are surfacing that Van Raak and Bosman concerns are focused on potential connections to organized crime from Curacao´s publicly owned national telecom provider UTS.
UTS expressed their resentment in a press statement, saying:
“The good name of the company is unfairly affected. The management of UTS suspects the Dutch MPs to have a double agenda.”
UTS further urged local MPs to unite in one voice to preserve the reputation of the island from the public relations threat posed by the publicly expressed suspicions of the members of the imperial Dutch government, of whose kingdom Curacao remains a constituent.
Accountant Rejects Dutch Authority
UTS´ accounting firm KPMG has refused to share UTS financial statements with the Dutch government. KMPG cites client loyalty over obligations to the Dutch government, saying refusing to share does not constitute evidence of any wrongdoing. The firm asserts that neither it nor UTS is beholden by law to submit financial statements to the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce.
Questions of the extent of UTS involvement in online gambling in Curacao, the extent to which the supported activity is illegal, and the extent of Dutch jurisdiction in the online arena of the Curacao market still within their antiquated imperial jurisdiction all constitute issues still to be resolved.