Netherlands Gaming Authority Chairman Makes First Public Appearance at KKF Annual Gaming Event

René Jansen, Chairman of the Netherlands Gambling Authority, made his first public appearance since his appointment as executive chairman of the Dutch regulator at the fifteenth edition of the Annual Gaming Industry Event, organized as always by gaming lawyer Justin Franssen and his team at Kalff Katz & Franssen and co-hosted with the International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL).

Provided the Senate adopts the Remote Gaming Bill, a public consultation on the regulator’s licensing process for online operators can be expected to open before the summer, Jansen revealed.

The other speaker at the Annual Gaming Industry Event, Juan Espinosa García, Director General of Spanish regulator DGOJ, offered a number of important insights derived from the successful regulation of the Spanish online market. His full presentation is available at the Kalff Katz & Franssen website.

 

Upcoming Events

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

  • Renowned businessman David Goldsmith hones in on ten simple steps to drive innovation, performance, favorable business outcomes and profits. He will reveal the must-do actions every gaming decision maker should learn at an upcoming American Gaming Association webinar on Tuesday, February 13, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. ET.
  • Betting on Sports America is the largest sports betting conference & exhibition in the US, featuring 175 leading industry speakers across 40 sessions. The event is scheduled to take place 23 – 25 April, 2019 in New York/New Jersey.
  • The International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR)is officially calling for speakers for its 2019 Annual Conference to be held in Montego Bay, Jamaica from 30 September to 3 October 2019. Submissions are due by 1 February.

 

Senate Throws Curve Balls during Gambling Reform Debate

Yesterday’s Senate debate on the remote gaming and casino reform bills certainly took a few unexpected twists and turns.

A full transcription (including video) of the proceedings is available here: part 1; part 2. Or check out GiH’s Twitter coverage here: part 1; part 2.

It now seems very unlikely that the Casino Reform Bill, which initially appeared to be the least controversial of the two proposals, will pass. As a result, the liberalization of the Dutch land-based casino market and privatization of Holland Casino, if not canceled outright, will probably be shelved indefinitely.

While there appears to be a solid majority for the regulation of online gambling in the Senate, it is rather less clear whether there also exists a majority for the Remote Gaming Bill in its current form.

During the debate, senators demanded written responses to three specific questions from Minister Sander Dekker:

  1. What is the exact definition of an “illegal operator;” and on what specific legal basis can operators who have already been active in the Dutch online market be excluded from said market in the future?
  2. Through which specific measures can gambling advertising on websites or social media be restricted?
  3. What measures grounded in administrative rather than criminal law are available to block illegal gambling sites?

The debate was subsequently adjourned and will likely be resumed next week on February 12, with a final vote – hopefully – to follow on the same day.

What does it all mean?

The following is fairly obvious:

  1. The Senate appears to be insisting on a blackout period of two to three years for all unlicensed operators currently active in the Dutch market.
  2. Senators want further restrictions on online and social media advertising.
  3. Senators seek to reintroduce IP and DNS blocking (which was stripped from the bill by the Lower House) of websites of unlicensed operators.

Quite possibly, the Senate is quietly aiming for a Dutch online market that will be dominated – at least for the first few years– by publicly-owned Holland Casino and Nederlandse Loterij, while internationally-licensed operators will be kept at bay (for the time being) through strict enforcement measures.

If this is indeed the Senate’s intention, the original design of the Remote Gaming Bill, which is based on an open licensing regime, could be significantly altered during the period immediately following the online market’s opening.

 

Other News

Trade association Speel Verantwoord calls on the Dutch Senate to “take responsibility” and pass the Remote Gaming Bill.

 

Netherlands Gaming Authority board member Joop Pot has left the regulator on February 1.

 

Raffld Managing Director Peter-Paul de Goeij has also stepped down from his position and will henceforth focus on his independent consulting practice.

 

While popular among EU gambling regulators, the effectiveness of website domain blocking leaves a lot to be desired, a recent European Commission report found.

 

Sweden’s gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has issued three new remote licenses to Bell Casino, FT Diva Casino and Premiergaming.

 

Sweden may also be the next country to impose a ban on gambling ads during live sports broadcasts, according to a government minister.

 

The exposure of children to gambling ads in the UK fell by 19% since 2008, according to a new report by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

 

As anticipated, the Italian Lega-5Star coalition government  has turned up the heat on illegal gambling enterprises and black-market actors, moving to introduce the country’s hardest stance on unlicensed gambling activities.

 

Kindred Group, Betsson, GiG and Cherry have joined forces to form a Norwegian trade body to challenge the country’s monopoly and establish new online gambling legislation.

 

The UK Gambling Commission has issued an industry warning notice in regard to non-disclosure agreements between operators and customers as part of dispute settlements.

 

Sports betting operator bwin has expanded its partnership with the German Football Association (DFB).

 

Spain’s online gaming market grew modestly in the final quarter of 2018, despite a surge in marketing expenditure, new figures from the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) have revealed.

 

Greece’s online gambling revenue is on pace for a record 2018.

 

The Slovak National Council has voted to overrule President Andreja Kiska’s veto to introduce a new regulatory framework for gambling in the country.

 

Kambi has signed a multi-year agreement to relaunch Mybet in Germany.

 

BTM Entertainment Group, the gambling operator behind the Roy Richie casino brand, has been ordered to shut down operations after having its license suspended by the Maltese gambling regulator.

 

Paddy Power Betfair has moved into the online betting market in the Republic of Georgia, acquiring Adjarabet.

 

Rank Group announced a 2% revenue fall, despite achieving significant digital growth.

 

A large majority of Americans support the legalization of sports betting, according to research released by the American Gaming Association(AGA).