English text of Press Release from 11.7.2014 by the Dutch governement Translation by Gaming in Holland Dutch government modernizes Gambling Policy The government has approved the plan of the Dutch State Secretary of Security and Justice, Mr Teeven, to reform the Gambling Policy. The government has agreed to send the Act on Remote Gambling and the vision on the future of the lottery and casino market to the Parliament. logo_Holland_in The policy is modernized in three areas. First, online gambling will be regulated in 2015, in order for players to play in a safe and responsible manner with providers who can be supervised. In addition, the lottery and casino market will be reformed. Holland Casino will be privatized in 2017. The lottery providers will be enabled to implement innovations. Social charities, which receive more than € 580 million from the lottery sector, will also benefit from this plan. The interest of the society with a good functioning lottery system is therefore large. The government has opted for a system where the objectives of the Gambling Policy (prevention of addiction, consumer protection and the prevention of fraud and other crime) are no longer being achieved through limiting the supply, but by implementing strict licensing requirements and strict enforcement by the Gaming Authority. After the foundation of the Gaming Authority in 2012, another step has been taken in the modernization of the Dutch Gambling Policy. Remote Gambling As of 2015, it will be possible in the Netherlands, just as in many other EU countries, to obtain a license for offering online games, such as poker, casino games and sports betting. The current law on gambling (Wok) is almost 50 years old. Modernization is necessary. At the moment, legislation prohibits offering games of chance without a license. Therefore, players are dependent on the illicit supply, where little supervision is possible. The Act on Remote Gambling regulates online gambling, where hundreds of thousands of Dutch players are currently playing without protection or supervision. The Act creates the foundation for a permit, so that, as of 2015, the Dutch player can participate in online games of chances in a safe and responsible manner. With the arrival of the new legislation, it will be possible to subject providers of online games of changes to strict requirements, protecting players more efficiently against compulsive gambling, for example. License holders in The Netherlands will have to pay 20% gaming tax, 0.5% contribution to the addiction fund and 1.5% to the Gaming Authority over their gross gaming profit. tweede kamer This will make it easier to identify and protect (now invisible) players with problematic gambling behaviour. Furthermore, a central register will be implemented for games with the highest risks, in order to temporarily exclude compulsive gamblers from a game, whether online or offline. Providers of online games of chance must also pay into a fund that contributes to the prevention of compulsive gambling. In the Act on Remote Gambling, the enforcement competences of the Gaming Authority will be expanded. The Gaming Authority will implement these competences after issuing the first licenses. Lotteries The lottery system is of great social value. Therefore, the government would like to facilitate new lottery initiatives that put the social interest in first place, where strict requirements are being implemented to guarantee this interest. Licenses expiring at the end of 2014 will be extended provisionally until then. In order to enable lotteries to implement innovations, the mandatory contribution rate for the lottery charities will be reduced from 50% to 40%. According to the lottery charities, the contributions will therefore barely change during the next few years. The National Lottery and Lotto are investigating whether they can cooperate in the future. The Dutch State Secretaries, Mr Teeven (Security and Justice), and Mr Wiebes (Finance), have welcomed this initiative. staatsloterij-lotto Casinos Holland Casino is currently the only legal provider of casino games in The Netherlands, with the State as sole shareholder. Because the state shareholding and restriction of the number of providers are not required for the realisation of gambling objectives, Holland Casino will be privatized in 2017 and new providers will be accepted. For this purpose, the current structure of Holland Casino with its 14 branches will be separated and sold. Holland Casino will be sold as a group of 10 establishments under the name Holland Casino, and 4 establishments will be sold separately to other, new providers. In addition, two licenses will be granted for new establishments, allowing The Netherlands to possibly have 16 casinos in 2017. The licenses will be distributed over 5 regions, in order to prevent that some parts of the country will have an accumulation of casinos, where other regions will start offering an illegal supply of casinos. All providers should implement a prevention policy that is at least as strict as Holland Casino’s current policy. The aim is to present a legislation this year for a new casino regime with the Parliament. In house translation by Gaming in Holland. Original article: http://www.rijksoverheid.nl/nieuws/2014/07/11/kabinet-moderniseert-kansspelbeleid.html Follow us on Twitter: @GamingInHolland For any questions: willem@gaminginholland.com