On Wednesday, the Dutch Lower House held a plenary debate on the General Consultation on gambling policy that took place on November 27. During the debate ten motions were tabled that – if adopted – could have an impact on future gambling regulation. The House will vote on these motions on Tuesday.
In total, ten motions were tabled, not all of which will have a realistic chance of being adopted.
It should also be noted that, formally speaking, motions are non-binding and the government has wide discretion regarding their implementation. Still, adopted motions are generally not disregarded.
Motion #1 asks the government to ensure that unlicensed online operators who continued to actively target the Dutch market after the adoption of the Remote Gaming Act will be initially excluded from the regulated market.
This motion is likely to pass. However, the government already promised to introduce a two-year cooling-off period for such operators. This motion does not appear to request anything that hasn’t already been promised.
Motion #2 appears to be based on the misunderstanding that the Remote Gaming Act will automatically create more money for Dutch sports. The motion asks the government to determine in exactly what manner this magic money will end up with sports associations.
While this motion is not likely to be adopted, it could create chaos if it does. In a worst case scenario, licensed operators may have pay additional contributions to sports on top of the already high gambling tax rate of 29% of GGR and a mandatory 1.5% of GGR contribution to a gambling addiction prevention fund.
Motion #3 asks the government to consider new measures to facilitate enforcement of gambling legislation in relation to video games, in particular with regard to loot boxes.
Likely to pass, but unlikely to have an impact on the gambling sector.
Motion #4 has been temporarily withdrawn.
Motion #5 asks the government to develop additional measures to protect minors from advertising for risky gambling products on television and social media.
While this motion is pretty vague and unspecific, it seems likely that it will pass, as it won’t be a good look to vote against this.
Motion #6 intends to give sports associations a veto over which of their sporting events operators can offer bets on.
Minister Dekker probably prevented this motion from being adopted by pointing out that these same sports associations could ask for sponsorships from operators in exchange for permitting bets on their matches, thus creating a huge potential for corruption.
Dekker also offered to give sports associations a strengthened right of consultation with, however, the final say on which bets would be permitted, going to the Netherlands Gambling Authority.
If the motion is amended accordingly, it is likely to pass. But if not, it is likely to fail. Still, this motion carries a real risk for operators.
Motion #7 requests that no gambling advertising – except for lotteries – may be broadcasted between 06:00 and 21:00, rather than between 06:00 and 19:00.
This motion is quite likely to be adopted.
Motion #8 asks that no role models and influencers under 25 are allowed to be featured in gambling advertising. The same rule would apply to older role models with a significant following among under-24s.
This motion is also likely to adopted – especially as Minister Dekker bungled his response explaining why this motion would not be a good idea.
The chance that either of these motions is adopted is close to zero.
As stated before, the Lower House will vote on these motions on Tuesday.
We will keep you updated!