Opening the market for online games is of course is not unique in Europe. A number of countries besides the Netherlands already phased with the situation of an opening market for the online games. The question is whether how the existing Dutch lottery organizations will react.
by Frank Bijman, former CCO of De Lotto
That depends on the Lotteries themselves. The existing parties like De Lotto and Holland Casino will facese direct competition. De Lotto is besides lotto games also running betting, keno and instant. And Holland Casino will get it heavier than they already had. As for the other lottery providers it is not a direct threat in terms of their product portfolio. But we all know that all existing Dutch Lottery organization will also expand with online gaming. A threat for them is that they underestimate running online games. Online gaming demands a 24/7 mentality of the organization.
The current lottery providers have a weekly or monthly cycle, imagine just a monthly draw of numbers. Online Gaming is a completely different dynamic and should fit to the organization. In that respect, it really demands of existing lotteries to get out of their comfort zone when the will be successful for themselves and against the new entrants who have the proven mentality, infrastructure and skills.
TOTAL MARKET TURNOVER TO GROW
Case studies about opening the market for online gaming in Europe like for example in France and Denmark has shown that the total market turnover will grow, especially in betting. Here is an opportunity for the current monopolist De Lotto who is offering betting. But they should be aware of the power of the existing providers of betting. Just compare the current betting product of De Lotto with the future foreign providers. You will recognize that even De Lotto with betting has a lack of knowledge, product and willingness to compete already today.
In general the lotteries and the market are quit insecure about the future concerning the terms of opening the online gaming market. They are all waiting for the terms and conditions. In this the Dutch State Secretary Fred Teeven must provide clarity. The sooner the better. But one thing should be clear; competition should be fair. Which means, all the same percentage for prizes and payment for charity. Here is already a challenge for Fred Teeven. For the existing lotteries it is even not equal. Why not all the same payment for charity, and percentage to the prizes? Only then there is fair competition.
Let this be the example for future online providers. At this moment there is space for a lot of speculation in the market. A threat for the existing lotteries can be that some charity- and sport associations, who wants to be no longer dependent of the existing lotteries, investigate how they can get a license for there own purposes.
DEADLINES AND THE ENDING OF EXISTING LICENCES
Finally you can set that some competition is good, it makes everybody more creative. But it should be regulated by somebody.In that respect, it is time that Fred Teeven really gives clarity in terms and timing. I think his promise of opening the online gaming market per 1st of January 2015 is not realistic anymore. It will happen once, but when? One year later?
And I even have not mentioned the ending the license of all existing lotteries (except the Dutch State Lottery) licences by 31 December 2014. An other challenge for the Dutch State Secretary Fred Teeven!
Frank Bijman (Former CCO of De Lotto from 2008 – June 2013)