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The Netherlands – Dutch Senate could pass new gaming law tomorrow

By - 11 February 2019

Netherlands Justice Minister Sander Dekker has given his written responses to three questions put to him by the Dutch Senate regarding the regulation of a future online gaming sector in Holland. The hope is that the delayed passage of the Remote Gaming Bill could even take place tomorrow, February 12.

The Senate hearing was suspended following a majority requesting more time to evaluate the legislation.

Many observers believed the bill would pass through the Senate with the Dutch Green Party and The People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy supporting it.

The Dutch Labour Party (PvDa) had concerns though and wanted any operator who had marketed to Dutch players blocked for up to three years.

Minister Dekker agreed saying he wanted to block ‘illegal operators who continue to actively focus on the Dutch market’ referring to them as ‘cowboys.’

He said he wanted this to apply to operators who deployed Dutch payment processor iDeal, those that use a Dutch domain name and those who market directly to Dutch players. He said any operator that had been suspended by Dutch authority Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) would be subjected to a ‘time-out.’

He added that advertisements for online gaming would not be allowed to sports personalities and that the promotion of live betting would be banned throughout the broadcasting of sporting events with a complete ban on TV advertising between 6am to 7pm.

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) praised the Netherlands for moving towards regulation, saying it is one of only three counties in the European Union not to have a regulated online gaming sector.

EGBA secretary general Maarten Haijer said: “The introduction of a Dutch online gambling framework is urgently needed. The Netherlands is now one of the few EU countries who do not regulate online gambling – and this situation is no longer tenable. The EGBA welcomes Minister Dekker’s ongoing commitment to modernise the current laws and advocates for the introduction of a well-regulated, multi-licence model. For Dutch people, whether they play poker or like betting on sports, they should be able to find all the products they are looking for with companies regulated in the Netherlands that pay taxes there and apply local consumer safeguards. A licensing model which facilitates this consumer choice will create a better functioning market with players who are properly protected and valuable tax receipts for the Dutch state.”

The debate is due to continue in the senate on February 12 with the vote on whether to pass the bill expected on the same day.

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