Regulatory Update: New EU Limits on Operator Penalties?

Advocate General Maciej Szpunar of the Court of Justice of the European Union advised the Court that EU member states cannot apply administrative penalties against an operator if it has been unlawfully excluded from a particular market.

In particular, the Advocate General discussed the Hungarian licensing system, which, although offering a “theoretical possibility” of obtaining a license, is to be characterized as discriminatory and failing to fulfill the requirements of proportionality or transparency.

Should the Court follow the Advocate General, it will offer comfort to operators in jurisdictions where (past) administrative penalties will hinder the award of a license once an EU law compliant regime has subsequently been introduced.

 

Dutch State Lottery Offers Settlement to Players on Account of Misleading Advertising Practices

The Dutch State Loterij (now part of Nederlandse Loterij) has offered a settlement to players who have been victimized by the operator’s misleading advertising practices. The settlement, consisting of up to four free tickets to a special draw and €40 per individual player, has been accepted by class action claim foundation Stichting Staatsloterijschadeclaim (ca. 6,000 members), but rejected by the much larger Stichting Loterijverlies (ca. 160,000 members).

The Netherlands Gaming Authority has already given dispensation for the special draw. To some players, however, the offered settlement is entirely insufficient.

 

Supreme Court of the Netherlands to Decide on Holland Casino’s Future

The works council of Holland Casino has filed a final appeal against the recent Appeal Court’s decision that the state-owned casino operator is allowed to transform itself from a non-profit foundation into a limited liability company. The appeal will be judged by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands.

In related news, negotiations between Holland Casino and several labor unions have reached a dead end. Strikes, perhaps as early as this weekend, appear likely.

 

List Your Gaming Job on Gaming in Holland

Are you looking to hire a (Dutch) gaming professional? Advertise your job on Gaming in Holland.

 

The Comeback of Golden 10, Online!

Following extensive negotiations and the signing of a Letter of Intent with a reputable international partner, Spanish company, Sitges Media Factory (SMF), is planning to bring back the popular game online in the very near future and offer the fans once again all the excitement they use to enjoy for over two decades until early 2001.

SMF is now looking for investors to participate in this exciting project that already counts with access to over 80+ distribution partners for its Live Stream of Golden 10.

Focused primarily on developing the Live Studio and Online platforms, the project aims at addressing both B2B and B2C sectors of the gaming market by offering access to its Live Stream through third parties or directly to players online. In recent history this game has proven extremely successful in Benelux and GSA countries.

Interested parties can find further information on www.golden10.casino.

 

Gaming Industry Reacts to Lower House’s Portfolio Holders for Gaming Policy

As the newly-elected Dutch House of Representatives takes up its tasks, the names of the following portfolio holders who will be their parties’ spokespersons on gaming policy in the Lower House have now been announced.

  • Sven Koopmans (VVD)
  • Gidi Markuszower (PVV)
  • Madeleine van Toorenburg (CDA)
  • Kees Verhoeven (D66)
  • Liesbeth van Tongeren (GL)
  • Michiel van Nispen (SP)
  • Attje Kuiken (PvdA)
  • Gert-Jan Segers (CU)
  • Kees van der Staaij (SGP)
  • Farid Azarkan (Denk)

Above all, industry representatives expressed hope that the new portfolio holders would be willing to engage with the gaming sector in deciding on rules and regulations for the industry:

“I sincerely hope the new portfolio holders will prove to be willing to let their decision-making be informed by sector stakeholders, whether these be industry representatives, responsible gaming professionals, or legal experts. There are always opportunities to discuss the issue of gambling with those who are directly involved,” gaming lawyer Justin Franssen of Kalff Katz & Franssen said.

“First of all, I would like to congratulate the MPs on having been elected and very much welcome them as spokespersons for gambling policy. I look forward to a fruitful cooperation in the coming years, as we will take the historical step of opening the online market,” Rutger-Jan Hebben, Director of Speel Verantwoord, added.

Sanne Muijser, General Secretary at VAN, stressed the need to avoid further delays in introducing a modernized gambling policy: “As a consequence of the election results, most portfolio holders for gambling policy in the Lower House are newly assigned. Let us hope this will not contribute to additional delays in discussing pending regulation. VAN would welcome the opportunity to assist the new portfolio holders in getting up to speed with the current state of affairs, especially so that earlier promises with regard to the pace at which secondary legislation will be introduced, as well as opportunities for innovation, can be kept.”

“I hope that the majority of new spokespersons is able to agree on an ongoing modernization of Dutch gambling policy,” gaming consultant Eric van Vondelen concluded.

 

Other News

As of yesterday, Holland Casino Rotterdam will be open 24/7.

 

Novamedia, owner of the Postcode Lottery format, has posted an 18% revenue increase in 2016, thanks to increased sales in both the Netherlands and the UK.

 

Operator Mr Green has selected NMi Gaming as its compliance partner.

There is no proven evidence that properly licensed casinos in the EU have been successfully exploited for money laundering.

Italy emerges as second largest European online betting market in 2016 after the UK and ahead of France and Spain.

Sky Betting & Gaming has kicked off a major recruitment drive for its Germany-facing business as the operator confirms it will launch in the market later this year.

Some operators are growing increasingly concerned over Gibraltar’s status after Brexit.

UK bookies are anticipating a £300m weekend betting bonanza.

Lottoland hired Camelot’s former Head of Global Corporate Affairs, no doubt further increasing the long-running rivalry between the organizations.

Novomatic saw its global headcount rise to over 23,500 and revenues increase by ten percent to an all-time high of around €2.3 billion in 2016.

Sweden’s monopoly operators, including Svenska Spel and ATG, have announced the launch of a new trade association ahead of proposals to re-regulate the country’s gambling market.

Ukraine has promised the IMF it will launch legal gambling by 2018.

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