BEST WISHES! First of all, we of Gaming in Holland would like to wish everyone in the gaming sector, either online or offline, a happy, healthy and successful 2014. We’re betting it’s going to be a fantastic year.
GUEST BLOG On December 12th, Gaming in Holland organized its first discussion roundtable about the future of online gaming in The Netherlands. The event proved to meet a need among gaming professionals: sixty participants attended the meeting, representing gaming operators (both online and land-based), specialized law firms, the lottery organizations, the Ministry for Security and Justice and the media. Maarten Haijer, secretary general of European industry body EGBA, gave a keynote speech on canalization and cannibalization as a result of liberalization of the online gaming market. He concluded that land-based operators and lotteries needn’t fear for diminishing revenues. In countries where the online market has been liberalized, their revenue has actually grown. Frank Bijman, lottery and sports betting expert, led the subsequent discussion. Many participants were eager to share their views. The editorial team for Gaming in Holland, consisting of former business journalists Martin and Geest en Joost van Kleef, has written a guest blog about the roundtable: http://www.gaminginholland.com/1176
SHORT PREVIEW: GAMING IN 2014 Currently, there are two big issues concerning the gaming industry in The Netherlands. First, the draft bill for remote gaming (Kansspelen op Afstand or KOA). We expect it to be discussed by the ministerraad (Council of Ministers) end of January. The Ministry of Safety and Justice is still working on secondary legislation, in particular regarding responsible gambling and technical requirements. The Ministry is actively seeking input from the remote sector and other stakeholders. It will organize a series of workshops in the coming months in order to gather different points of view. Benjamin Jansen, deputy director Sanctions and Prevention at the Ministry of Security and Justice, reaffirmed that his department is aiming to finalize the new gaming law (Wet op de Kansspelen or WOK) in 2015. Second, Holland Casino is going through a rocky period. The financial results are weak and there are internal tensions due to reorganizations and severe cost-cutting. What will the future bring for the casino operator? Will Holland Casino be able to build a strong online brand? Who will be interested in bidding if the Dutch government decides to sell the monopolist? Maybe the company will be split up? Of course, Gaming in Holland will keep you posted on relevant political developments, legal issues and gaming news in 2014, through our newsletters and our website.
HOLLAND CASINO IN QUOTE MAGAZINE The December issue of the Dutch business magazine Quote features a background story on the future of Holland Casino. The issue is available on newsstands until mid-January. Thereafter, Gaming in Holland will be happy to send you a digital copy of the article, on request.
GAMING IN HOLLAND CONFERENCE On June 23rd and 24th, the third Gaming in Holland Conference will take place in Amsterdam, co-hosted with the iGaming Supershow (24th-27th of June). It’s promising to be an exciting event, where you’ll gain a lot of inside gaming knowledge and meet fellow professionals in the Dutch gaming business. Over 180 participants from 26 countries attended the previous conference. We have arranged for a fascinating speaker lineup, including representatives from PaysafeCard, Ludoco, Kalff Katz & Fransen, Unibet, Plumbee, SponsorTribune, Akamon, Ezugi, Paddy Power, Bwin, Neogames and Netplay TV. We will give you an update in February. For more information, read the coming newsletters and keep an eye on our website. If you’d like more details or if you’re interested in becoming a speaker at the conference, please contact Willem van Oort: firstname.lastname@example.org
EVENTS CALENDAR (save the dates!) 3th – 6th February 2014 ICE LONDON The yearly International Casino Exhibition (ICE) in London will take place across the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th of February. On Tuesday February 4th, there will be a ‘Holland Roundtable’, where Paul Tang, director of the Dutch Gaming Authority, will shed light on recent political developments. (Subject to change; Tang will head the list of the Dutch Labor Party for the coming European elections.) For more information, please visit: http://bit.ly/1jCJb82.
23 – 24 June 2014 GAMING IN HOLLAND CONFERENCE
The next newsletter will appear in your mailbox in mid-January. Best regards and once again Happy New Year! Willem van Oort P.S. Gaming in Holland currently has 927 members. If you want to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the Dutch online gaming business, we invite you to become a member of our group. It’s free: http://linkd.in/1giZmHK Already a member? Don’t hesitate to tell your gaming colleagues and friends about Gaming in Holland.