Exclusive Q&A with Jan Schiffelers on Fair Play’s Online Malta Expansion

Dutch land-based casino chain Fair Play, owned by Janshen-Hahnraths Group, will launch a Malta-licensed online casino, ahead of this year’s expected enactment of the Dutch remote gaming bill.

Fair Play Online, which will be developed by Mediatech Solutions, is scheduled to launch this summer.

Naturally, we asked Jan Schiffelers, CEO at Janshen-Hahnraths Group, about his company’s decision to move its online activities to Malta.


From Maastricht to Malta: why?

“Already around 2001, we were technically capable of launching an online casino. Only the lack of a legal basis was holding us back. Our aspirations and ambitions, however, have not changed over the last fifteen years. Hence the inevitable move to Malta, where local gaming regulations offer us the best opportunity to acquire an international license.”


What happens the day your company can apply for a Dutch remote gaming license?

“We made our move to Malta in preparation for that day. As soon as the Netherlands Gaming Authority starts issuing licenses, we must be ready to go. At this point, however, we are still awaiting the outcome of the political process, as well as the specific demands licensees must adhere to.”


Why now? Why didn’t you make this move three years ago?

“I now have full confidence that the political process will lead to level – and legal – playing field for online operators in the Netherlands. Still, I feel we should have been able to do this sooner. Fifteen years is a long time for a company to wait…”

Jan Schiffelers will also be one of the featured speakers at our upcoming Gaming in Holland Conference.

On a related note, Fair Play’s substantial offline presence in the Netherlands could have a very positive effect on the success of its online casino, as nearby bricks tend to generate more clicks, according to Data Consultant Saskia van Dijk.


Some More Thoughts on the Funding of Dutch Sports

The proposed merger between De Staatsloterij (Dutch State Lottery) and sports lottery De Lotto would not necessarily guarantee sufficient future funding for NOC*NSF, the overall coordinating Dutch sports organization.

What if, for example, new entrants in the Dutch lottery market manage to capture a significant market share, but decide to support other good causes over sports? Would it not be better if the Dutch government would fund NOC*NSF directly?

It should be noted, for instance, that in 2015, a pre-olympic year, De Lotto supported NOC*NSF with €43.5 million, which is already a solid 13% short of the annual goal of €50 million. Are we willing to make Olympic success dependent on the preferences of Dutch lottery players?


“EU to Start Remote Gaming Infringement Proceedings Against Four Countries”

Paul Leyland, gaming consultant at Regulus Partners, reports that it is widely expected that four EU countries, including Germany, will have infringement proceedings initiated against them next month by the European Commission for non-compliant gambling laws.

“The EU has made it increasingly clear that Member States attempting to preserve monopolies or limit competition in a poorly justified or non-proportionate manner are breaking EU law and will face sanction,” Mr Leyland writes.

Has the European Commission run out of patience with the Netherlands as well? Current Dutch lottery licenses, for instance, most certainly do not appear to have been awarded in a “consistent, transparent, and non-discriminatory” manner.


Call for Guest Blogs

In light of the upcoming parliamentary debate on the Dutch remote gaming bill, Gaming in Holland is opening its platform to contributions from guest bloggers.

Interested? Please send an email with a brief synopsis in English to editor@gaminginholland.com.

We are especially looking for discussions related to the proposed remote gaming bill, but articles on other topics are welcome, too. Your contribution is highly appreciated!


CIG Acquires Dutch Affiliate Network Assets

Malta-based Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) has acquired the affiliate assets from the Dutch affiliate network company Delta Markets. The acquisition is expected to significantly strengthen GIG’s Innovation Labs as an online traffic driver for the iGaming industry.

“This acquisition will make Innovation Labs the local leader for referring paying users in the highly sought after and soon to be regulated Dutch casino market,” Robin Reed, CEO of GIG, said.


Other News

The German state of Hesse is pushing for a new Interstate Gambling Treaty.


Romania’s National Office of Gambling (ONJN) demands for back taxes from online operators, have significantly swelled the government’s coffers in 2015.


Online and mobile wagering – especially on in-play betting – buoyed the 2015 results of Czech gambling group Fortuna Entertainment.


“Online gaming can co-exist with brick-and-mortar casinos,” according to Las Vegas casino executive Michael Silberling.


Virginia has become the first US state to legalize daily fantasy sports.


The agenda for the Casino Marketing Forum, taking pace 23 – 25 August 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa, has been released.