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Netherlands Could Regulate Online Gambling Market by July 2018
- June 21, 2017 By Riley Wilson -
This year’s Gaming in Holland conference was held on June 13-14 at Amsterdam’s De Hallen Studios, and one of unavoidable topics was the Netherlands’ Remote Gaming Bill.
The bill is still waiting its introduction, and according to officials of Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice, the road towards becoming the law is very bumpy.
Dutch Lower House passed the bill last year and sent it to the Senate for adoption. Although it seemed the bill had the necessary support, the turbulent political scene in the Netherlands postponed the voting.
Four Years’ Wait
The bill was first brought up for discussion four years ago, and since then has been making baby steps towards the introduction. If it gets adopted as a law, it would allow foreign-based gambling operators to apply for a license, thus opening the Dutch market to international companies.
According to Dennis van Breemen, the country’s Ministry of Security and Justice official, the Senate could center its attention on the bill in October. In practice, this means the Dutch online gaming market could be opened for new licensees as early as July next year.
However, Van Breemen said he wasn’t very optimistic about that timetable, stating there were two main obstacles on the road towards the bill’s adoption.
The first obstacle is advertising of gambling services in the Netherlands, while the second one dates back to 2011 and is reflected in the lack of accord on a certain Lower House motion meant to prevent those operators that broke existing laws from being eligible to receive a license.
A month ago, the Dutch Gaming Authority, Kansspelautoriteit, introduced a new, much stricter, set of regulations targeting both operators and affiliate websites.
The new rules strictly forbade the use of affiliate websites with an .nl extension to redirect Dutch players to .com websites.
The biggest surprise was the prohibition of using symbols such as windmills and tulips in promoting gambling services. Finally, according to new rules, all gambling companies are required to block Dutch traffic.
The reaction of operators to new regulations was as expected, causing departure of operators from the market, and in some cases led to a complete cease of operations of Dutch-only online casinos.