Amsterdam is in the middle of a big conservative squeeze where they’re trying to get rid of everything that made the city internationally famous: drugs and hookers. Of course, if you’re gonna fight those two things, you have to fight the gangsters selling them. And how do you do that other than by harassing combat sports events?
It’s Showtime gets the greenlight from officials in Amsterdam for their yearly ArenA show in May, which might not sound like a big deal, but the new mayor of Amsterdam has been quoted claiming that these kickboxing shows are a danger to the city and only bring out the shady characters. He cited the “VIPs” that attend the events being involved in organized crime. For those who are unaware, most of the European kickboxing shows feature VIP tables in the front of the arenas. It’s Showtime will not do that this time around, instead it will just be a straight arena set up.
To be fair, I don’t doubt the accusations too much. The one time I ever sat at a VIP table being split on by an MMA school, we were literally surrounded by some of the shadiest characters I’d ever seen in my life. One table was overflowing with giant gorilla men in suits who kept their sunglasses on the entire evening. The other had strippers+ with sinus problems and track marks. It was a night of high class luxury, I tell you.
More on Amsterdam’s law kickbacks after the jump.
The organisers of kickboxing contests and other fighting events are to be vetted for criminal connections before they can get a licence, junior justice minister Fred Teeven has told Amsterdam’s mayor.
Mayor Eberhard van der Laan had raised concerns about such fights, after a police investigation suggested they are ‘networking events for organised crime’.
For example, police said six of the 10 VIPs attending a kickboxing match in the capital several weeks ago had ‘criminal connections’.
Now Teeven wants to subject fight events to special legislation known as the Bibob law. The Wet Bevordering Integriteitsbeoordeling door het Openbaar Bestuur came into force in 2003.
The legislation allows local authorities to check the backgrounds of people in the sex industry, such as brothel owners, and soft-drugs trade. It also now covers the construction industry, firework importers and fruit machine operators.
And by fruit machines, they mean slot machines, not a machine you can buy fresh, healthy fruit from after a day of clean family fun.