Online gambling in the Netherlands has been a grey area for a number of years which has allowed offshore operators to target Dutch players and run successful operations. Kansspelautoriteit, the Dutch gaming regulator decided to clear up the online gaming market by introducing new gaming regulations that protected the interests of its players and also made it difficult for offshore operators to target the online gaming market in the Netherlands.
Netherlands To Introduce New Gaming Bill
The Dutch gaming authority proposed a number of changes to the overall gaming industry in the Netherlands and received quick approval from the Dutch House before being passed on to the Senate. There were many who expected the bill to be cleared quickly but the bill has been stalled for quite some time. There are reports that the slow progress of the new gaming bill is due to political uncertainty and also because there is a lot of opposition to the bill and legislators are not able to reach a mutual decision on a number of issues.
Kansspelautoriteit wanted to introduce new regulations that were a lot more stringent on the online gaming industry and wanted to prevent unlicensed gaming operators from being able to offer iGaming services to Dutch players. The proposed regulations were opposed by a number of stakeholders who felt that Kansspelautoriteit was violating EU laws by limiting gaming operators and curtailing their freedom in distributing their gaming services throughout the EU.
Betsson Lawsuit Dismissed
One of the chief opponents of the proposed regulation was Betsson. The online gambling operator had paid €100 million in 2014 to acquire Kroon Casino and Oranje Casino which provided online gaming services to the Dutch market and met the legal requirements that were required under the old Kansspelautoriteit gaming regulations.
Bettson would be impacted under the proposed gaming regulations and as result filed a case against the gaming regulator in a Hague court. The court made a final ruling on September 14 and stated that Bettson’s case was inadmissible and ruled in favor of Kansspelautoriteit. The online gaming bill is expected to be rolled out by July 2018 and offshore operators will no longer be able to operate in the Netherlands without a gaming license.
Similarities To Australian Gaming Market
Some of the online gaming operators have already decided to exit the Dutch online gaming market and some have also shutdown exclusive Dutch online casinos. What’s happening to the Netherland’s online gaming industry in many ways mirrors what’s happened to Australia’s online gaming industry.
Online gaming operators had enjoyed a lot of freedom as Australia’s gaming laws were not very clear. Gaming regulators cleared that up this year by passing a new gaming law which prevented offshore operators from operating without a license and resulted in an exodus from unlicensed gaming operators.
Online gambling in the Netherlands will be impacted by the exit of these offshore operators and will soon be restricted to gamble with only licensed operators. The exit of offshore operators from the Dutch market will create a vacuum which will most likely be filled by illegal online gaming operators and could expose Dutch poker players to even great risk. Kansspelautoriteit will have to tackle those issues as they arise and put in place regulations and penalties to discourage these underground operators from launching their services in the Netherlands.
The online gaming industry has continued to grow in the Netherlands with every passing year and the government is looking to bring in more regulations so that it can earn revenues in the form of gaming taxes imposed on regulated operators.
Gaming Taxes Raised
The Dutch government has also announced that it plans to increase the current gambling tax rate in the country by 1.1 percent. Gaming operators in the Netherlands have been paying 29 percent in gaming taxes and will soon have to increase that to 30.1 percent for a period of six months. The government plans to reduce the gaming tax back to 29 percent once the new gaming bill is implemented. Should everything go as per plan, the new gaming bill will be implemented by July 1, 2018 and the government will reduce the tax back to 29 percent by Jan 1, 2019.
 
 

TightPoker Staff

TightPoker Staff

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