Published On: Wed, Jun 27th, 2018

Casino Privatization and Online Gambling Discussion Back on Track in the Netherlands

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The Netherlands has reignited its plans to regulate online gambling and privatizing the state casino business. The recent announcement concerning the modernization of the Remote Gambling Act and privatization of casino operations and lotteries was made by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security earlier this week.


The plans were brought back to life by Sander Dekker, the Minister of Legal Protection and the Second in Command of the Ministry. According to an official statement issued by Dekker, the Netherlands government was looking to curb gambling addiction and allow licenses to carry out their obligations. The minister sent a statement regarding the matter to the House of Representatives.


The government aims to isolate games and games of chance in order to combat gambling addiction among the young.


The contents of the bill


Dekker’s bill discusses the need for online licensees to set up a facility in the Netherlands in line with the rules of the European Union regarding the free movement of goods and services. The minister also specified that online licensees without a presence in the European Union/EEA (European Economic Area) would have to establish a secondary facility.


However, all online licensees, irrespective of whether or not they have a presence in the EU/EEA, will have to ensure the establishment of representatives responsible for addiction prevention. Also, gambling products will undergo a risk analysis in order to receive approval.


The bill also requires online operators to intervene if a customer starts to exhibit symptoms of gambling addiction. Furthermore, a self-exclusion list will be created and relatives/family members will be allowed to nominate their loved ones to the list.


Operators will also be taxed at the rate of 0.25% on their revenue to support gambling addiction rehabilitation programs.


Privatization of the Holland Casino


Apart from online gambling regulations, the parliamentary committee will also be discussing the privatization of Holland Casino, a matter that has been on the backburner for quite some time.


The House of Representatives approved a bill concerning the matter last year. However, since then, the bill has failed to move beyond the Senate.


The legislation aims to split the land-based operations belonging to Holland casino. The idea is to sell four branches to private operators while retaining the remaining ten under the Holland brand. The move is expected to bring over €1 billion in revenue.

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