A group of brothel owners that represents nearly a third of the prostitutes in Amsterdam's famed red light district have challenged a decision to revoke their licenses, the city said Friday.

The city notified the owners of 37 brothels and sex show venues on Nov. 30 they would be closed because of suspected involvement in money laundering. The brothel owners maintain their financial problems are caused by banks refusing to do business with them.

In its statement, the city said it would wait for a court ruling to take action. The case will likely be heard in mid-January, the city said.

The brothels represent around 300 of the district's scantily clad "windows" prostitutes who stand behind windows and tap their fingers against the glass to attract customers.

The narrow streets near Amsterdam's center have been a hangout for prostitutes since the city was the hub of a global trading empire during the Netherlands' 17th century Golden Age.

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