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Dutch Legislators Want to Increase Online Gambling Tax to 29 Percent
- January 6, 2016 By Oliver Young -
A new tax plan has been recently introduced in the Netherlands which might sabotage the proposed plans to regulate online gambling in the country.
Yesterday the local media reported that parliamentarians of the ruling party in the Netherlands had introduced certain changes to the Remote Gaming bill that would increase the tax of online gaming operators at 29 percent of gross gaming revenue. The tax proposal is at the same level as that of brick and mortar gambling operators such as Holland Casino.
Progress to regulate the country’s virtual gambling market is going slowly, but changes need to be made because the current laws date back 50 years before the introduction of Internet.
From 20 Percent to 29 Percent
The proposal to increase the online gambling tax at 29 percent is against the previously stated plan of the government to tax online gambling companies at 20 percent. The rate of 20 percent was justified as being necessary in order to prompt the gambles in the Netherlands to choose to bet with Dutch licensed gambling sites rather than invest their money at unregulated websites.
The new tax proposal was jointly submitted by the members of VVD and PvdA to the lower house of the legislature, the Tweede Kamer. Country’s legislators argue that if the prediction of the government that the regulated gambling market would boost gaming revenue is correct, then the online gambling tax would be lowered to 25 percent 3 years after the liberation of the market.
Regulated Online Gambling is Making Slow Progress
Despite the slow moving of the plans to regulate online gambling in the Netherlands, the government is still hopeful that it will come into effect this summer when a vote is expected to be scheduled. However, there are doubts that this cannot be achieved especially because the new tax proposal might gum up the works. According to online lobby groups, the previously proposed tax at 20 percent was already too high to ensure online gambling operators a good rate of return.
Despite these views, the Dutch government reportedly said that there has been an interest from several online operators that want to offer their services and products to Dutch gamblers. A media report in April 2015 reads that over 200 companies have expressed interest to obtain a Dutch online gambling license.
A recent research revealed that the iGaming market in the Netherlands is worth much more than the previous estimates. Moreover, according to Kansspelautoriteit, Dutch people spend something between 250 million and 800 million Euros every year on illegal online gambling. The country’s gaming authority continues the crackdown on gambling companies offering their services illegally in the Netherlands.
The draft to regulate online gambling in the Netherlands also proposes that the operators which will get a license will also have to contribute to a fund designed to help problem gamblers. Also, players who will break their self-imposed limits will be banned from gambling.