Gambling policy in the Netherlands will be modernised.
First, online gambling will be regulated from 2015.
Second, the lottery and casino markets will be reformed: State-owned Holland Casino will be privatised in 2017, and lottery providers will be given more scope to innovate.
The Dutch government has chosen a system whereby the objectives of gambling policy (to prevent gambling addiction, protect consumers and combat fraud and other crime) will no longer be pursued by restricting the supply of gambling opportunities, but by tightening the requirements for providers’ licenses and strengthening enforcement by the Dutch Gaming Authority (Kansspelautoriteit – Ksa).
From 2015, the Netherlands will permit the issue of licences to providers of online games of chance like poker, casino games, and sports betting.
The current Betting and Gaming Act is almost 50 years old and in need of modernisation. It currently prohibits the provision of games of chance without a license, landbased and online.
The Remote Betting and Gaming Bill aims to regulate online gambling. The Bill creates the basis for a licensing system that from 2015 will enable Dutch people to gamble online safely and responsibly. It will impose strict requirements on online gambling providers, including measures to better protect players against gambling addiction.
Of their gross turnover, licensed providers in the Netherlands will pay 20% in tax on games of chance, 0.5% as a contribution to the Gambling Addiction Fund, and 1.5% as a contribution to the Ksa (Dutch Gaming Authority).
As to high-risk games, whether online or offline, the Ksa will create a central registry that will temporarily exclude problem gamblers from playing, landbased and online.
Holland Casino is currently the only legal provider of landbased casino gambling in the Netherlands, and the State of the Netherlands its sole shareholder.
Holland Casino will be privatised in 2016/2017 and new casino providers will be permitted. For this purpose, Holland Casino, with its current 14 casinos, will be split up and sold.
10 of its casinos will be sold together under the name ‘Holland Casino’, and the other 4 will be sold separately to new providers.
In addition, 2 licenses will be granted for new casinos, as a result of which ultimately the Netherlands may have a total of 16 casinos.
The licenses will be spread across 5 regions in the Netherlands in order to avoid concentrations of casinos in some parts of the country and illegal casinos in others. All the new casino providers must pursue strict prevention policies.
Present political situation
In order to legalize Remote games of chance the Dutch gaming act is altered which had lead to a new Bill. This Bill is proposed by the so-called council of ministers and submitted to the Dutch parliament by mid 2014.
At this very moment (early 2015) the Gaming Bill is discussed between the various political parties in the parliament. When the parliament will approve the new Gaming law is not known yet, but is to be expected at short notice.
IGS strongly believe, due the content of the present discussion in the parliament and due to the present political landscape in The Netherlands, that the new Gaming Bill will be approved by the parliament. We expect the new Bill to be in force by mid 2015.
The Ksa will grant licenses for Remote games of chance. The Ksa will also be the authority to control the license holders. The Ksa has announced in the meanwhile that those entities that are interested in obtaining a license can reveal this on the website of the Ksa.
The Ksa has also announced that issuing licenses will only commence after the new Gaming Law is published in the State Gazette. In order to obtain a license for Remote games of chance the applicant should meet various conditions.
These license conditions are not known yet but will be published by the Ksa before the license issuing process will commence. However, due to our knowledge about this whole issue and due to the content of the bill as it is discussed in the Dutch parliament at this very moment, we can more or less predict the issues which will be covered by these license conditions.
If you want to obtain an Online Gaming license in the Netherlands, IGS is your partner to achieve that goal.