Dutch Staatsloterij / Lotto Combination Will Offer “Every Variety of Game that the Dutch Remote Gaming Bill Allows”

Following the finalization of the merger between Dutch lotteries Staatsloterij and De Lotto, as well as their recent deal with NYX Gaming Group to supply online gaming content, we wanted to find out more about the new operator’s future plans and reached out to David Selier, Head of Corporate Communications at the Staatsloterij.

“We are planning on offering every variety of game that the Dutch remote gaming bill, which we expect to be enacted later this year, allows,” Selier said. “This will include lottery games, sports betting, casino games, and poker.”

The Staatsloterij has thus abandoned its earlier reservations regarding some forms of online gaming. Two years ago, Director Frans van Steenis still indicated that the operator would not offer “addictive” games such as online slots or blackjack: “The Staatsloterij is not meant for frequent gamblers. We must be careful with our brand.”

Apart from shifting course with regard to its online offering, the Staatsloterij / De Lotto combination will also adopt a new corporate name, Selier added, which will be announced this summer.

The online platform of the new operator will also get a name of its own, which is currently set to be revealed sometime during the fall.

Asked whether the new combination will be using personal data of current players to market its new online offering, Selier responded: “For now, we don’t know yet what exactly the remote gaming bill and its accompanying secondary legislation allows. We will have to wait and see.”

In related news, the newly merged Staatsloterij / De Lotto combination also extended its contract with Intralot to supply a wide portfolio of games, including traditional lottery games (“Staatsloterij” and “Miljoenenspel”); numerical games (“Lotto”, “Eurojackpot”, “Lucky Day”), a full Sportsbook branded “Toto” (including Fixed Odds betting and Poolgame “Toto-13”) and Instant Tickets.


Holland Casino Posts Double Digit Revenue Growth, Prepares for Regulation of Online Gaming

According to its annual report that was published today, land-based operator Holland Casino posted €576m in revenues in 2015, a 10.6% rise compared to the previous year. Profits increased from €12m in 2014 to €67m, while the number of visitors grew 6.7% to 5.8m.

Meanwhile, Holland Casino is busily preparing for the regulation of online gaming in the Netherlands. Although well-established foreign operators will undoubtedly enter the Dutch market, Holland Casino’s recently appointed CEO, Erwin van Lambaart, is “not afraid” of the competition.

According to the operator’s CFO, Anita de Kleijn, twenty employees are currently working on the roll-out of Holland Casino’s online offering, of which live gaming will be an important part. Well-known game supplier Playtech will provide the necessary software.


New Amendments to Dutch Remote Gaming Bill

MP’s of liberal opposition party D66 proposed an amendment that would remove the legal authority of the Netherlands Gaming Authority to impose IP or DNS blocks.

A second amendment (strictly speaking to the Media Act of 2008) by MP Gert-Jan Segers (CU) would prohibit televised gambling shows on open access TV channels.


Danish Government Considering Partial Sale of Danske Spil

Like last year, the Danish government is once more mulling the sale of the online activities (betting, casino, poker) of state-owned operator Danske Spil, while keeping its lottery business under state control.

According to Brian Mikkelsen of the Conservative People’s Party, which is currently supporting the Danish minority government led by the liberal Venstre party, the sale could easily be finalized within one year.

Although the sale of Danske Spil’s online activities could generate up to DKK 4bn (€535m), opposition parties point out that such short term profit may come at the expense of reliable and substantial long-term gains.

Morten Rønde, Chief Executive of the Danish Online Gambling Association (DOGA) told Gaming in Holland that his organization would welcome the privatization of Danske Spil’s online activities, as this has always been the Danish government’s original intention. “DOGA will support it,” Rønde added.

The possible sale of Danske Spil could lead to some interesting parallels with the (future) situation in the Netherlands, where state-owned Holland Casino and recently merged lotteries Staatsloterij and De Lotto currently dominate the local market and will likely be sold to private investors in a few years time.

Are the current plans of the Danish government indicative of a wider European trend, whereby former gambling monopolies are being (partially) privatized? Was Greece first, to be followed by Denmark and the Netherlands? Will plans for the privatization of the Spanish State Lottery be revived, after being put on hold in 2011?

European competition authorities, in any case, should be very wary of former monopolists abusing their long-established and dominant market positions in order to gain unfair competitive advantages; as did, for instance, the Belgian National Lottery, which recently ended up having to pay a €1.2m fine.


Other News

The Netherlands Gaming Authority publicly warns online operators to refrain from advertising their services to Dutch punters during the upcoming “summer of sports.”


VAN, Staatsloterij, De Lotto, and Runnerz have launched a new website “Speel Bewust,” in order to provide Dutch punters with information and counseling in order to prevent problem gambling. Other operators or relevant trade associations are invited to join.


The UK Parliamentary All Party Betting & Gaming Group has launched a Parliamentary seminar series looking at the future of gambling. For more information contact Steve Donoughue at sdonoughue@gamblingconsultant.co.uk.


Buyout group Centerbridge has joined up with Deutsche Telekom to bid for Germany’s largest private sports betting group Tipico.


As New Zealanders spend less on traditional lottery tickets, funding for sports and culture is declining as well.