Plenary Debate on Dutch Remote Gaming Bill Scheduled for Week 13

The Lower House has, at long last, scheduled a plenary debate on the remote gaming bill. The debate – likely to be followed by an immediate vote – is set to be held during week 13, on March 29, 30, or 31.

 

Holland Casino Appoints New CEO

The board of directors of state-owned Holland Casino has appointed Erwin van Lambaart as the new CEO of the brick-and-mortar gambling company. Van Lambaart’s predecessor, Willem-Jan van den Dijssel, had been forced to resign last summer after using a company-issued credit card to pay for private expenses.

Van Lambaart, who has a background in musical and stage production, is expected to lead Holland Casino through its upcoming privatization, which is currently scheduled for 2017. Another significant challenge – despite already having signed a deal with Playtech to develop its online casino – is the forthcoming regulation of remote gaming in the Netherlands. Lastly, the company has been troubled by persistent labor unrest.

Since 2013, Van Lambaart has been on the board of directors of the Dutch State Lottery, another state-owned company that is set to be severely impacted by a series of major upcoming changes in the Dutch gambling regime.

In the coming weeks, we’ll try to do a personal Q&A with the new Holland Casino top executive. Stay tuned for more!

 

“More Money to Sports Thanks to Modernized Gaming Act”

The recent sponsorship deal between online betting operator Unibet (which posted strong Q4 results) and the Royal Dutch Cycling Union (KNWU) offers a good opportunity to revisit the findings of junior researcher Jeroen Schep, which were published back in 2014 on the Gaming in Holland website. Schep estimated that a modernized gaming act would create tens of millions of euros in additional income for sports clubs and associations, mostly through sponsoring and the sale of media rights.

Not only Gaming in Holland took note, however. As recently as three months ago, Schep was also awarded a prize by the Netherlands Gaming Authority for the thesis paper in which he published these very same findings.

The jury made a point of stating to have been especially impressed with the policy relevance of Schep’s work.

 

German Sports Betting Regulation Violates EU Law

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) found last week that Germany could not impose sanctions against operators on the basis of regulation that has already been found to be against EU law by national courts.

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of the European Betting and Gaming Association (EGBA), said:

 

“Today’s ruling emphatically confirmed that the German online gambling regime reached a  practical and legal dead end. The CJEU ruled the experimental clause for sports betting    introduced in 2012 has failed to remedy the incompatibility with EU law. This means the        German online gambling regime still violates EU law and cannot be enforced.”

 

According to Speel Verantwoord, the Dutch trade association of online operators, the CJEU’s verdict also has implications for the Netherlands: “The Court found that licenses for offering lotteries and sports bets should be warded transparently and in a non-discriminatory manner. To date, the Dutch government has failed to do so.”

 

Other News

The Rotterdam branch of Holland Casino was forced to postpone an extensive refurbishment on account of having failed to publish the required, EU-mandated call for tenders.

 

The international Tennis Federation (ITF) tried to keep it a secret that it banned several umpires on matchfixing charges. Meanwhile, French regulator ARJEL established an anti-sports corruption platform.

 

DraftKings long-awaited UK launch failed to impress.

 

Hungary just got its first online casino.

 

Claims by a self-professed short seller, which caused gaming company Intertain shares to fall by one-third, were found to have been “false and misleading.”

 

Online betting firms signed new sponsorship deals with Spanish and Brazilian soccer clubs, while EPL side Arsenal found itself a Kenyan sports betting partner.