Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker has responded to what is presumably the final round of written questions tabled by the Permanent Committee for Justice and Security of the Dutch Senate.
For the most part, the questions tabled by the Committee, as well as the answers submitted by the Ministry, cover much of the same ground as before.
The political dynamics have not changed either: while political group CDA has grudgingly agreed to regulate online gambling when the current government’s coalition agreement was drawn up, senators representing said group continue to express hostility to the bill while, it seems, stalling for time.
Unfortunately, the support of CDA will be necessary for the bill to pass the Senate.
Bad Actor Clause?
Perhaps the most interesting nugget of news contained in the Minister’s answers is his stated belief (pp. 33-34) that a blanket ban on operators in the regulated Dutch market who have previously offered online games of chance would almost certainly run afoul of European jurisprudence.
While past behavior certainly will be taken into account when considering license applications, to completely exclude all operators who have been previously active in the Dutch market is likely to violate the principle of proportionality, the Minister writes.
Casino Reform Bill
The Minister also submitted his response to questions tabled regarding the Casino Refom Bill, the legislation necessary to privatize Holland Casino and open the land-based casino market.
A public consultation on the secondary legislation accompanying this bill will likely be held in the first half of 2019.
In its procedural meeting of Tuesday, December 18, the Permanent Committee for Justice and Security will decide on the next steps regarding both bills.