Charities stand to benefit from the new gambling law

Reaction of the European Gaming and Betting Association to responses from Secretary of State  F. Teeven, with regard to the effects from  regulating  online gambling on payments to charities and sports.

Brussels, November 29, 2013 – Today, the Secretary of State Teeven answered the questions previously  asked in parliament by the member of the chamber Van Oosten (VVD).

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Based on research and experience in other countries, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) confirms the clear conclusions of Secretary of State Teeven:

1)  The contributions to charities and sports  will not decrease with the regulation of online gambling

2)  Sales of existing lotteries will continue to grow, thanks to new online opportunities.

3)  The regulation of online gambling will therefore actually have a positive effect on contributions to charities and sports.

Contributions to charities and sports thrive on regulation of online gambling 

EGBA shares the view of the Secretary of State that continuity of contributions of income from gambling to charity and sports are important to society. The regulation of online gambling will be a major contribution to this. Both recreational sports and charities will benefit from additional income and the opportunities generated by modernization.

Maarten Haijer of the EGBA:  “We are seeing an increasing number of European clubs and sports federations, including smaller sport associations who make agreements with providers of online sports betting for TV rights, live streaming and sponsorship deals. Recently the gaming sector was ranked as the 7th largest sponsor (in the top 10) of sports teams and sporting events in Europe”, emphasized Martin Haijer.

Revenues for charity lotteries have doubled, notwithstanding the online gambling market.

Based on independent research by the Dutch gambling market it would appear that the online market is only a very small proportion, about 10%, of the total Dutch market. Lotteries make up the largest part of the market share. As the Minister rightly stated, a market for online gambling does in fact already exist for years in the Netherlands.

During that period, the turnover for Charity Lotteries has more than doubled.   In 2004, the Charity Lotteries recorded a total turnover of EUR 550 m. In 2012 it was more than EUR. 1,193 billion there is, in other words, sufficient growth potential for both markets and new opportunities for online providers without cannibalizing each other’s income.

Positive experiences abroad

The Netherlands is not the first country to modernize its’ online gaming policy. Even abroad it has been proven that online gambling can exist not   at the expense of the existing offline offerings and sales of Lotto and Charity Lotteries. In countries such as France, Belgium and Denmark the existing offline providers became even stronger with the modernization of gambling policy. A similar trend is evident in the UK where the National Lottery continues to grow in a very strong and competitive market.

Maarten Haijer: “In Denmark, the ‘old’ state lottery, after modernization of the policy even grew to a share of 62% of the online market.  In Belgium, the National Lottery also strengthened to achieve its biggest ever sales (up 5%) in 2012. Both countries show that a viable gaming policy is the best guarantee for structural contributions “.

By the end of January, the bill will go to the Cabinet. The Ministry of Justice informed on the EGBA Responsible Gaming Day on 28 November, that the proposed reform of the lottery system will be done at the same time.

Matters of concern

The EGBA has serious concerns about the percentage of Dutch online players who will soon play within the regulated framework. The intent of the Government is to only permit 75% of the current licensees to make use of permitted online gambling. This means that 25% of the players are left to their own devices, which according to the EGBA is far too low. The Dutch Government should aim to include as many Dutch players as possible (+ 95%) and include them in licensed and protected offerings. This will benefit both consumers and providers.The EGBA is keen to engage in dialogue with Secretary Teeven.

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