Poker will continue to be considered a game of chance as far as the Dutch Ministry of Justice is concerned. And even if it were to be officially recognised as a game of skill, which it will not, it should never be deregulated.
This is a summary of the answers given by Dutch Minister of Justice Hirsch Ballin to fellow lawmakers after a leading professor of probability and mathematical statistics offered a formula to support poker's classification as a skill game.
As reported by Gaming Intelligence Group, Professor Van der Genugten challenged the Dutch Supreme Court's 1998 decision that poker is a game of chance after developing a formula which showed that poker required a higher degree of skill than many other so called games of skill, leading to calls on the Supreme Court to reconsider its classification.
Several Dutch politicians submitted written questions to Hirsch Ballin as a result, asking whether the status of poker should be reconsidered or not.
In his response the Justice Minister said the Dutch state will continue to take action against illegal poker operators, referring to research conducted in 2007 by both the Dutch Gaming Control Board and the University of Twenty which confirmed that poker has a relatively high risk of addiction. As a result, he said the state monopoly of Holland Casino remains valid from the point of view of player protection.
Ballin added that he sees no reason whatsoever to request the Supreme Court to revise the status of poker, and pointed out that poker is currently considered a game of chance in 33 European countries.
Not only will poker in Holland remain a game of chance despite evidence to the contrary, but restrictions on online poker will also become more draconian. Mr. Ballin said discussions between financial institutions and the Ministry of Justice on blocking transactions to and from illegal gaming providers was making steady progress.
He said that the large number of parties and intermediaries involved in transaction processing as well as laws relating to privacy made the process extremely complex, however a satisfactory result was expected.
Ballin added that if gambling operators and their intermediaries do not 'assume their responsibility' in this matter, the Ministry of Justice will lodge a complaint against these organisations.