Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) Approves Lottery Merger
The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has approved the proposed merger between the Stichting Exploitatie Nederlandse Staatsloterij (De Staatsloterij) en Stichting Nationale Sporttotalisator (De Lotto). Although a merger between the Staatsloterij and De Lotto would result in only two parties (the other being the Nationale Goede Doelen Loterijen NV, owner of the Postcodeloterij, BankGiroLoterij, and Vriendenloterij) dominating the Dutch lottery market, this would not, according to the ACM, cause a market distortion, as the these lotteries are not competing for the same players:
“The national government provides only one license for each kind of lottery. […] These rules are designed to prevent compulsive gambling and simultaneously ensure that very little competition between the various lotteries is possible.”
As the Council of Ministers already granted approval to the merger, it is now up to the House of Representatives to green-light the new combination. According to the NOC*NSF, this could happen before the end of the year.
Will Sports Benefit from Online Gaming?
Although the merger between the Staatsloterij and De Lotto is expected to lead to a rise in contributions to NOC*NSF, the overall coordinating Dutch sports organization, the legalization of online gaming, which is expected in 2017, could also cause total contributions to end up significantly lower, according to legal expert Guido Hahn, who warned earlier this week that current lottery players could move on to online gaming. Speel Verantwoord, the Dutch association of remote gaming operators, on the other hand, has been maintaining for some time now that Dutch sports would actually benefit from the legalization of online gaming.
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