Dutch gaming regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) believes that legislation paving the way for online gaming in The Netherlands remains at least a year away.
Legislators missed the opportunity to vote on the new laws before the summer break meaning that even if legislation is agreed in March 2017, the licensing process will delay any launch by at least a year-and-a-half.
KSA Senior Communications Advisor Martijn van de Koolwijk said: “The bill has been postponed three times. The law must be approved by both chambers and then the subordinate legislation must still be worked out. The permits must be applied for and issued and then we are already back more than a year, year and a half more.”
Over 200 companies have expressed interest in operating in online gambling in The Netherlands despite a proposed 29 per cent tax rate, the same as land-based gambling operators.
Huge progress has been made though with the privatisation of The Netherlands’ state-owned gambling operator Holland Casino. The decision has been taken for Holland Casino to retain ten of its 14 land-based casinos and to sell off four of the venues. There will also be two new land-based licences launched. Once the monopoly has been deconstructed, Holland Casino will be looking to move online.
CEO of Holland Casino Erwin van Lambaart said: “Months have passed and still nothing has been discussed in Parliamnt. We must move forward and therefore the laws need to be adjusted. This is important for Holland Casino and the entire industry in the fight against illegal Internet casinos.”
Holland Casino made a profit of €67m compared to a profit of €12m in 2014.