Dutch Senate Clears Path for Vote on Remote Gaming Bill

The Permanent Committee for Justice and Security of the Dutch Senate has moved to finalize its report on the remote gaming bill on October 16. This will close the written procedure and will clear the way for an up or down vote during a subsequent plenary session.

The Committee also decided to draw up a further preliminary report on the (land-based) Casino Reform Bill, thus extending the written procedure with regard to this second bill.


Netherlands Gaming Authority Hits Mr Green with 312,500 Fine

MRG’s subsidiary Mr Green Ltd has been fined €312,500 by the Netherlands Gaming Authority.

The company’s press release states that the firm has complied with the Gaming Authority’s guidelines for online gaming except for IP blocking, for which it has been fined. As “most gaming operators do not practice IP blocking in the Netherlands,” the company has decided to appeal the decision.

According to the operator, the Dutch market represents about six per cent of the Group’s total revenue. Revenue from the Netherlands amounted to approximately SEK 26 million in the second quarter.


Betsson Appeals Fine Issued by the Netherlands Gaming Authority

Betsson subsidiary Corona Ltd has appealed the fine issued by the Netherlands Gaming Authority (KSA).

“Corona Ltd maintains its prior position that its operations comply with applicable laws and regulations in the absence of an EU-compliant gambling legislation in the Netherlands,” the company’s press release states.

“If the appeal with the regulator is not successful, Corona Ltd will refer the matter on appeal to a court of law to defend its rights. Pending the procedures, the sanction will not become irrevocable.”

“Betsson share KSA’s ambition to achieve a high channelization of customers into a future locally regulated environment in the Netherlands,” said Pontus Lindwall, CEO Betsson AB.

As a consequence of the Dutch government’s most recent interpretation (p. 45) of the Motie Bouwmeester, if the Gaming Authority’s sanction is not voided on appeal, the operator may not be able to acquire a remote license when, as is widely expected, the Dutch online market officially opens in 2019 or 2020.

However, Dutch legal expert Justin Franssen told industry publication GamblingCompliance that there was still hope for Betsson and others:

 “A licensing ban as a result of having been fined ‘is not hardcoded into the [online gambling] bill,’ he said.

‘The minister’s comments are important,’ added Franssen, a partner at law firm Kalff Katz & Franssen, ‘but also bear in mind that the KSA is an independent regulatory body and they have discretion. Although it’s not going to make life easier for those who have been fined.’”

Stockholm Stock Exchange Could Investigate Betsson

In related news, Betsson took over three weeks– from July 31 to August 24 – to inform its shareholders that it had been fined by the Dutch regulator. According to Betsson spokesperson Pia Rosin, the company was not at liberty to disclose the fine on July 31 due to “the Dutch regulator’s procedure.”

This, however, was denied by the Netherlands Gaming Authority: “The KSA has not imposed any restrictions on Corona to publicize the information. We do not even have the authority,” spokesperson Gulay Çankaya said.

As shareholders have a right to be informed in a timely manner of all developments that could influence a company’s stock price, the three-week delay may cause the Disciplinary Board of the Stockholm Stock Exchange to further review the matter.


Upcoming Events

The following events may be of interest to members of the GiH community.

  • Betting on Sports Weekreturns to London in September. Over 2,000 delegates from across the world will make their way to the Betting on Sports Week to join the international betting and gaming trade conferences Betting on Sports 2018and Betting on eSports 2018, held 18-21 September at Olympia London.
  • The 2018 edition of Blockchain Livewill feature eight conference stages, including one focused on gaming and gambling. No less than 3,000 attendees are expected to gather in The Grand Hall, Olympia, London on September 26, 2018.
  • The Responsible Marketing For Gambling Operators Conference, which focuses on the changing regulatory landscapearound promotions, will take place on October 3, 2018, in London.
  • On October 16, Kindred Group will host the Sustainable Gambling Conferencein Stockholm, Sweden. The conference aims to highlight different perspectives on sustainable gamblingby bringing together stakeholders from the industry, academia, and regulators.
  • The Lisbon Affiliate Conferencewill take place on 17-20 October 2018and is expected to bring together the key stakeholders in the iGaming affiliate industry.
  • On 14 November, trade association VAN Kansspelenwill hold its annual members’ meeting. The members’ meeting will be followed by a product presentation, showcasing the latest innovations in land-based gaming products.
  • Clarion Gaming has launchedICE Sports Betting USA, a two-day event to be held in New York on 27 and 28 November, 2018.


Public Consultation Opens on Remote Gaming Secondary Legislation

In a further sign that the Dutch government believes that the final political hurdles standing in the way of the remote gaming bill have been overcome, it has opened a public consultation on the secondary legislation that is to accompany the Remote Gaming Bill.

The draft version of the secondary legislation appears to be largely in line with what has been revealed earlier.

The public consultation will run until November 6, 2018. Stakeholders may respond through this website.


Other News

Dutchman Tobias Peters has won the Main Event of the WSOP Circuit Stop at Holland Casino Rotterdam.


Another Dutchman, Ceisjan van Heerden, won a Welsh bookshop in a raffle.


The next few years will likely see a growing number of court cases regarding municipal arcade hall licenses in the Netherlands.


Following its opening earlier this week, Meneer Casino has published photographs of the completely renovated Holland Casino Valkenburg.


Game developer Stakelogic has appointed Stephan van den Oetelaar as the new CEO of the company.


Playtech has sold its stake in online trading platform Plus500 for ca. $227.5m.


Problem and at-risk gambling rates in the UK remained flat in 2016: 0.7% of the population was classed as problem gamblers, 1.1% as moderate risk gamblers, and 2.4% as low risk gamblers. Overall gambling participation fell 6%: from 63% of the population in 2015 to 57% in 2016.


The UK Gambling Commission also invites consumers, operators, and members of the public to voice their opinion on proposed changes aimed at further protecting children and keeping gambling fair and safe.


The UK Gambling Commission has teamed up with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) to remind licensees of the key rules and requirements relating to gambling advertising and sport sponsorship.


German operator Mybet has shut down its sportsbook and casino and warned its customers of “significant” withdrawal delays.


Bethard has announced that it will collaborate with Magnus Rydeving, a prominent and outspoken Swedish expert on gambling addiction and responsible gambling, who will be given full access to the operator’s systems and processes.


Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies at the Nottingham Trent University, offers a look at football’s relationship with the gambling industry.


Online gambling operators will have to pay up to €5m to obtain a sports betting and gaming license in Greece under new regulations proposed on Tuesday.


Blockchain casino platform FunFair has withdrawn its application for a UK operating license, and instead will focus on obtaining a license in Gibraltar and Malta.


By 2021, New Jersey could have a bigger sports betting market than Nevada.


William Hill and Eldorado Resorts have entered into a nationwide partnership for digital and land-based sports betting and online gaming in the US.