Betsson Loses Court Case against Netherlands Gaming Authority
As predicted, Betsson’s complaint against the Netherlands Gaming Authority, with which the company sought to prevent the Dutch regulator from taking steps against its Kroon Casino and Oranje Casino brands in accordance with the gaming authority’s recently tightened enforcement policy, was ruled inadmissible by the preliminary injunction court in The Hague.
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Nederlandse Loterij Obtains Responsible Gaming Certificate
European Lotteries (EL) has awarded Nederlandse Loterij with their Responsible Gaming Certificate of Alignment. As a direct consequence, the World Lottery Association (WLA) also granted its highest achievable responsible gaming certificate: Level 4 of the “Certificate of Accreditation Responsible Gaming Framework” to Nederlandse Loterij.
With these two certificates, Nederlandse Loterij gained external recognition for the high quality of its responsible gaming policy.
Responsible Gaming Courses Offered in Amsterdam
This October and November, the Global Gaming Guidance Group (G4) will be organizing three responsible gaming training courses in Amsterdam. The course offering includes a General Awareness Training (GAT), a Customer Communication Skills (CCS) course, as well as an Advanced Support Skills (ASK) course, aimed at staff in customer contact roles who need to provide additional help to distressed customers.
“We decided to offer these courses in Amsterdam, because of the new responsible gaming legislation that could soon be introduced as part of the Dutch remote gaming bill,” G4 board member Pieter Remmers says.
“While the CCS and ASK courses are primarily aimed at customer service professionals, our General Awareness Training (GAT) is useful for operator staff members at all levels. Responsible gaming should be part of the company DNA. It is not just a social responsibility, it also makes sense economically. In the long term, it is much better to be able to keep your customer than to extract as much money as possible in the short term and having to look for a new one.”
“We have been active in the responsible gaming field for over 25 years. Our customers include Staatsloterij, Holland Casino, German land-based arcade halls, online operators, Lottomatica, and many more. We are happy to show others what we have showed them.”
Members of the GiH community are eligible for a 15% discount. Please contact G4 for more information.
The following upcoming events may be of interest to members of the GiH community.
- Registration for the 2017 Excellence in Gaming conference, which will be taking place 30 October-1 November 2017 in Berlin, is now open. This year’s edition will feature an Open Space: “No speakers, no moderators, no predefined topics, no imposed structure, closed doors, full confidentiality, and […] ‘honest conversations.’”
- On 24 November, Malta’s largest iGaming conference SIGMA’17 will feature a session on regulatory developments in the Netherlands, moderated by GiH founder Willem van Oort. Conference registration is open. Gaming in Holland and Leaseweb invite SIGMA’17 attendees to join us for drinks on Thursday, 23 November 2017, starting at 7:30 pm. Places are limited, so please reserve your place today by registering here.
- ICE Totally Gaming returns on the 6-8 February 2018 to ExCeL London. ICE is a unique gathering place for all the major gaming players including operators, regulators, and more. This year, Gaming in Holland will also have a stand!
Dutch Gaming Industry Denounces “Temporary” Tax Increase
As part of its budget for the coming year, the Dutch government announced (p. 8) a temporary increase in its gaming tax rate of 1.1%, in order to cover the shortfall caused by the delayed implementation of the remote gaming bill:
“It is proposed to temporarily increase the current gambling tax rate of 29% by 1.1% point to 30.1%. This increase is intended to cover the shortfall caused by the delayed implementation of the measures that are part of the pending remote gaming bill (KOA).
It is proposed that the gambling tax rate will be once more reduced to 29%, six months after the enactment of remote gaming bill. This six-month period is necessary to give the Netherlands Gaming Authority sufficient time to implement the measures that are part of the bill.
It is estimated that the remote gaming bill will come into force on 1 July 2018, in which case the gambling tax rate will be reduced to 29% from 1 January 2019 onward.”
Industry insiders understandably question the wisdom of further increasing a tax rate that is already relatively high.
“Generally speaking, we can say that any increase in taxation rate over a level of low to mid 20%s is counterproductive as it is likely to restrict the market by an even greater margin, meaning that not only will there be a significant loss to the onshore market but to the absolute tax take as well,” Simon Holliday of H2 Gambling Capital said.
“Current operators (and players) are being punished for the lack of progress in the political process, while new market entrants will escape the temporary tax increase, Frans Duynstee, tax lawyer at Taxand commented.
Gaming lawyer Justin Franssen of Kalff Katz & Franssen added:
“Even apart from the negative impact of a higher tax rate on player channelization rates and, indirectly, consumer protection, I find it remarkable that the consequences of the delays in the political process are entirely passed on to the private sector.
Instead, it may be time to consider a tax rate that is not only nominally, but also effectively uniform for the entire gaming sector, including lotteries. This would benefit both the state budget and the gaming industry; and, moreover, it would also resolve a likely violation of EU competition law.”
Frits Huffnagel, chairman of trade association VAN Kansspelen: “We are completely taken by surprise. The government is looking to have the gaming industry foot the bill for its own sluggishness. Frankly, it is a ridiculous situation.”
Trade association VAN Kansspelen is looking to hire a policy officer.
The District Court in Amsterdam found, in a court case that could potentially have an impact on gambling operators, that announced rules of play in the television show “Miljoenenjacht” may trump legal obligations and protections that are, in other circumstances, normal elements of commercial activity.
Lottery and gaming supplier International Game Technology (IGT) has secured the rights to develop games based on the international reality TV singing contest The Voice, just as Endemol founder, Big Brother creator, and Forbes-listed billionaire John de Mol is to appear in court in a legal dispute over who created the singing show.
The new Holland Casino branch in the western part of Amsterdam is almost finished.
The City of Groningen and Holland Casino are considering several locations as a temporary replacement for the casino that burnt down in late August.
The Fair Play Casino in Rotterdam has been completely renovated and will celebrate its grand opening on 16 September.
Napoleon Games NV, which is located in the Gent area in Belgium, is looking to hire a Senior Affiliate Manager.
Four betting firms could face fines over adverts disguised as news articles, as the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld complaints against Ladbrokes, 888, SkyBet and Casumo over an advert placed by one particular affiliate. While the companies said they did not approve or condone the adverts, the ASA held them responsible because they stood to benefit from them.
Not coincidentally, it seems, Paddy Power Betfair has warned its affiliates it is adopting a “1 strike policy” with regards to any behavior that may invite regulatory scrutiny onto the operator.
A group of leading affiliates and gaming legal experts are setting up a trade body, the International Gaming Affiliate Association (iGAA), to help the affiliate sector tackle the increasing regulatory scrutiny it is facing.
German online gambling legislation needs urgent attention, Saxony-Anhalt Finance Minister André Schröder has warned.
French bookmaker PMU has launched a simplified new horseracing product aimed at a younger and more digitally-savvy audience. “Hipigo” has deliberately been stripped back to basics in order to give beginners the confidence to place bets.
Malta-based online gambling operator Vbet has received a license to offer online sports betting in France’s regulated market.
Sweden’s unregulated market saw a 17% year-on-year rise in revenues to SEK 2.7bn for H1, gambling authority Lotteriinspektionen has reported.
Online casino operator bgo announced that it will remove minimum wagering requirements on bonuses. Any bonuses offered by bgo.com and its sister site powerspins.com from this date will be in the form of real cash only or “wagerless” free spins.
The business model of Holland Casino supplier Playtech is drawing criticism from analysts.
The PGA Tour has entered into an agreement with London-based Genius Sports, whose Head of Integrity spoke at the last GiH Conference, to monitor wagering information worldwide for any irregular activity.
A pair of Australian researchers have won an Ig Nobel prize for studying the effects of proximity to crocodiles on gambling behavior.