Dutch Lower House Approves Land-Based Sports Betting Tax Increase

The Dutch Lower House has approved the proposed land-based sports betting tax increase.

The new bill changes the tax rate on land-based sports betting from 29% of awarded prize money (with prizes worth €449 or less being fully exempted) to 29% of gross gaming revenue (GGR).

The change was put forward in order to bring the tax rate on land-based sports betting in line with the (proposed) tax rate on online sports betting. The European Commission ruled earlier that land-based and online betting (as well as bingo) must be taxed equally in order to avoid charges of impermissible state aid.

It is intended that the rate change on land-based sports betting will come into force simultaneously with the implementation of the Remote Gaming Bill.

The new bill will also need to be approved by the Senate.


Industry Might Be Giving up on Remote Gaming Bill

Speaking at Playtech’s recent Investor & Analyst Day in Milan, Ian Ince, Head of Regulatory Affairs, said (at 1:58:57) that he doesn’t expect any legislative progress on the Dutch remote gaming bill for the foreseeable future:

“Netherlands. My tagline for that is: ‘Never going to happen.’ Still pending. I’ve been waiting five years for that to happen. I don’t see it happening in the foreseeable future.”

In addition to Playtech, other suppliers and operators also seem to have turned their attention away in recent months from the Netherlands to more promising jurisdictions, such as Sweden and various US states.

Of course, growing disinterest from operators in a regulated Dutch online market could constitute a severe long-term threat to player channelization and, more generally, a healthy market.


Gaming Innovation and Scarce Licenses Important Topics at VAN Kansspelen Product Exhibition

Last week, VAN Kansspelen, the Dutch trade association which mainly represents land-based arcade hall operators, held its annual members’ meeting, followed by a product exhibition, as well as two informational sessions on video game wagering and scarce licenses.

Twenty exhibitors showcased their products and services to a large and receptive audience of ca. 200 VAN members.

More information is available here.


Upcoming Events

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

  • Clarion Gaming has launched ICE Sports Betting USA, a two-day event to be held in New York on 27 and 28 November, 2018.
  • The fifth edition of SiGMA will take place between 28 and 30 November at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre in Ta’ Qali. SiGMA 2018 will welcome over 400 sponsors and exhibitors, 200 industry-leading speakers and a record-breaking 12500 attendees from over 80 countries.
  • The Responsible Gaming Day 2018: Protecting Consumers in a Digitalised World will take an in-depth look at responsible gaming and consumer protection. The event will be hosted by Dita Charanzova MEP and Miriam Dalli MEP, in partnership with Politico and the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), and take place on 4 December 2018, 09:00 – 12:00, European Parliament, Room PHS 5B001, Brussels.


Dutch Advisory Board on Regulatory Burdens (ATR) Issues Warning over Secondary Legislation Accompanying Remote Gaming Bill

The Dutch Advisory Board on Regulatory Burdens (Adviescollege toetsing regeldruk – ATR) has issued its advice on the proposed secondary legislation that is to accompany the Remote Gaming Bill to the Ministry of Justice and Security.

The ATR warns that the proposed secondary legislation imposes a number of significant burdens on operators. At present, it is insufficiently clear how operators can be induced to become licensed and obey these regulations in the absence of effective means to prevent such operators from continuing to offer their services through countries with lower regulatory burdens:

“[…] the proposed regulations contain such obligations that there exists a high risk that operators will in practice try to avoid these and offer their online services via countries with less strict regimes. The proposal does not make it sufficiently clear how, without the possibility of blocking undesirable operators, such evasive behavior can be prevented.”

The ATR also offers a number of more specific recommendations and, furthermore, advises the Ministry to not submit the secondary legislation without taking these recommendations into account.


Other News

Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker has informed the Lower House of his response to theNetherlands Gaming Authority’s annual note on policy and legislative developments.


Lottery innovator ZEAL Network SE, owner of Dutch charity lottery Raffld, today announced an all-share voluntary takeover offer for Germany’s largest private digital lottery broker, Lotto24 AG.


Former MP Mei Li Vos, who helped guide (albeit reluctantly) the Remote Gaming Bill past the Dutch Lower House, will be the public face of PvdA’s upcoming Senate campaign.


The UK government has confirmed it will bring the reduction of maximum fixed-odds betting terminal (FOBT) stakes forward to April 2019.


Under the banner of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), a group of international regulators and industry bodies will produce compliance reporting rules designed to be adopted across the continent. Belgian Gaming Commission director Peter Naessens has been chosen to spearhead the project.


The board of the Remote Gambling Association, the London and Brussels-based European trade association, is set to hold talks to discuss a new advertising code.


The European Parliament could soon trigger Article 7 sanctions against Malta on account of endemic corruption, according to MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld.


Betsson will be able to offer its customers the chance to bet on major global lotteries such as the US Powerball and Mega Millions games through a new partnership with Lotto Warehouse.


Malta-based operator Bethard has agreed a five-year extension on its partnership with sportsbook provider SBTech.


UK National Lottery operator Camelot reported a 5.4% sales uptick in the first half of its fiscal year thanks in part to a record performance by its digital channels.


The UK Gambling Commission is on the hunt for bidders for the country’s next National Lottery license, according to the commission’s chief executive.


The UK Gambling Commission has appointed Dr Anna van der Gaag as Chair of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board.


Supplier SBTech is set to enter the French market at the beginning of 2019.


Sportech has announced plans to acquire iLottery solutions provider Lot.to Systems Limited as part of a strategic partnership aimed at broadening its offering.


Italy’s anti-mafia police arrested 68 suspected mobsters in a large scale international operation on organized crime groups that had come together to make millions of euros through online gambling.


Sports betting continued to soar in New Jersey in October with handle shooting up by more than 40% month-on-month to just over $260m.


Pennsylvania became the seventh US state to process a legal sports wager on Thursday when Penn National Gaming tested out its system with punters at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.


As many as eight more US states could legalize sports betting before the start of the next NFL season in 2019, according to industry experts.