Dutch gambling market to open up to foreign operators due to new bill

26 Jun 2018

dutch-gambling-market-open-up-foreign-operatorsThe old Dutch gambling bill that was frozen for quite some time now has come back into the foreground. Sander Dekker, Dutch Minister for Legal Protection announced his plan to the Lower House of the legislature recently regarding the restructuring of the online gambling market. The debate for the bill dates back to 2013 when it was first put on the table, and then July 2016 when it got passed by the Lower House.

The plan according to the new bill dictates that ordinary games and games of chance will be distinct so that there are less chances of players becoming addicted, especially in the case of younger people. The government plans to manage that by having all gambling products go through risk assessment to examine if it is possible they'll cause addiction problems.

Most importantly, the new bill will finally open up the Dutch gambling market to foreign brands. However, operators from outside the European Union will still need to maintain some sort of office establishment in the Netherlands to acquire their license. Should the bill go into effect operators within the EU will have to appoint a “representative in the field of addiction prevention” that's based in the Netherlands. They will also need to turn in 0.25% of their annual revenue to subsidize problem gambling initiatives and research.

Minister Dekker also emphasized that the big gap between license holders and the care system in the Netherlands makes cooperation towards more effective resolution of gambling addiction problems much harder and also prevents proactive measures from being implemented. The bill has come up against many difficulties up until now to get to the Dutch Senate. However, the government's intent to create a stricter gambling framework might mean that the bill has a much better chance now.

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