Plenary Debate on Remote Gaming Bill Scheduled for Week of April 4

The plenary debate on the Dutch remote gaming bill has been rescheduled to the week of April 4.

As the ruling coalition parties, through a series of amendments (1, 2, 3) proposed by Representatives Jeroen van Wijngaarden (VVD) and Mei Li Vos (PvdA), already reached an agreement, it seems all but certain that the bill will pass – albeit with a controversial uniform tax rate for both online and land-based gaming of 29% of GGR. Additional amendments may be adopted during the debate itself.

Following the debate in the Lower House, the bill must also pass a yes or no vote in the Senate. At this point, it seems likely that the Senate will consider the bill after the summer.

The debate will be streamed live through this website.

Gaming in Holland will be present at the debate and will live tweet directly from the floor and report more extensively after the debate has concluded.

 

How Independent is Sports Betting Critic Marjan Olfers?

Well-known sports law professor and noted proponent of rigid sports betting restrictions Marjan Olfers may be less independent of established sports lottery and betting interests than her academic title at first glance suggests.

Last week, Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant already reported that European Lotteries (EL), of which Dutch sports lottery De Lotto is a member, paid Professor Olfers of the Free University Amsterdam (VU) to write a critical opinion of another researcher’s match fixing study that challenged several claims about the alleged risks generated by certain types of sports bets.

As it turns out, De Lotto, which has a clear commercial interest in keeping foreign sports betting operators out of the soon-to-be-liberalized Dutch market, may have been funding rather more than a single opinion paper.

 

Dutch Court of Appeals: Poker a Game of Chance After All

The Court of Appeals in Amsterdam reversed a recent decision of a lower District Court that found that poker is a game of skill rather than chance.

Although there is an element of skill involved, the Appeals Court found, the outcome of each game is also decided by the random cards being dealt.

Speaking of poker, PokerStars.fr has exited the Austrian market over changes to VAT regulation resulting in the world’s largest online poker room paying double taxes to both Austria and France. Liquidity on PokerStars.fr is about to shrink even more.

 

EU Launches Online Dispute Resolution Platform

The Online Dispute Resolution platform may, among other things, be used to resolve issues that consumers of internet betting products in the EU have encountered. The service is operational since February. Both traders and consumers are already being directed to the platform by the United Kingdom’s gambling commission.

 

Other News

Paddy Power Betfair is now worth more than £8bn and is posting strong growth figures to boot.

 

Holland Casino is looking to renew its restaurant concept.

 

Lithuania is blacklisting Betway, Unibet, William Hill, PokerStars, Marathonbet and 188bet, while warning that attempts to evade the country’s online gambling blacklist by domain tweaking are similar to “smuggling.”

 

Romania collected €269m in gambling taxes in 2015. Bwin.party is recruiting in neighboring Bulgaria.