Staatsloterij / De Lotto Combination Looking to Exclude Competitors from Sponsoring Sports Associations

Recently merged lotteries Staatsloterij and De Lotto will continue as “Nederlandse Loterij,” Dutch daily NRC reported this morning.

Shareholders of De Nederlandse Loterij are the Dutch state, as well as NOC*NSF and Stichting Aanwending Loterijgelden Nederland (formerly owners of De Lotto).

In an important twist, NOC*NSF, the overall coordinating Dutch sports organization, has apparently also decided that its individual member associations will no longer receive funding if they enter into sponsorship deals with competitors of De Nederlandse Loterij.

As the Staatsloterij / De Lotto combination intends to offer “every variety of game that the Dutch remote gaming bill allows,” the clear intention of this decision is to make it all but impossible for Dutch sports associations to sign sponsorship deals with any gaming operator whatsoever.

Earlier this year, both NOC*NSF and its main sponsor De Lotto severely criticized the sponsorship deal between the Royal Dutch Cycling Union (KNWU) and betting operator Unibet, as “underming solidarity in Dutch sports.”

According to Ben van Rompuy, Professor of European Competition Policy at the Free University of Brussels, however, the plans of NOC*NSF “appear to be at odds with European competition law.” Gaming lawyer Justin Franssen added that the proposals of NOC*NSF “smell of a breach of competition law and abuse of a dominant market position.”


Netherlands Gaming Authority Releases English Version of Its Annual Report

The Netherlands Gaming Authority (Kansspelautoriteit) has now also released its annual report in English.

One notable takeaway: the Authority is seeking closer cooperation with foreign authorities to facilitate the collection of administrative fines.


Belgian Government Mulls Amending VAT Regime for Gaming Transactions

As we have reported earlier, the Belgian federal government is currently considering to amend its VAT regime for gaming transactions. Local lawyer Pieter Paepe explains the two scenarios currently under consideration. In either case, it appears that online operators will be liable to VAT, while other sectors – lotteries in particular – remain exempted.

Locally licensed operator Unibet is already claiming that it would be a “clear state aid case” if the Belgian government charged VAT on all gaming apart from lotteries.


Cherry AB Acquires ComeOn Malta

Swedish operator Cherry AB has agreed a deal to acquire 49% of the shares in ComeOn Malta Ltd, with an option to also purchase the remaining 51%.

ComeOn’s offering complements Cherry with well-known brands and strong positions, mainly in online casino and sports betting. ComeOn holds licenses in Malta, the UK and Curacao. ComeOn had 1,112,932 registered customers of which 133,324 were active as of end of December 2015.

Back in December 2014, ComeOn was fined €180,000 by the Dutch Gaming Authority for specifically targeting Dutch punters.


Affiliates: Win a Free Ticket to the Gaming in Holland Conference 2016

iGaming Business is very kindly sponsoring an exclusive affiliate competition which offers the opportunity to win a ticket to the Gaming in Holland conference (which is co-located with the Amsterdam Affiliate Conference and the iGaming Super Show) worth €850 + VAT.

There are two tickets up for grabs for the conference, so, simply fill in the form here before May 16 for your chance to win.

See you in Amsterdam!


Upcoming Dutch Sports Sponsoring Conference to Feature a Sports Betting Session

The upcoming Sponsorreport Conference, which will take place on May 26 in Amsterdam, will include a session on the upcoming opening of the Dutch sports betting market. What are some of the new opportunities to acquire sponsorship deals?

The panel on sports betting partnerships will feature Matt House (founder and CEO of Sportquake), Chris Woerts (founder of CWO Consultancy), and Willem van Oort (Gaming in Holland).

We hope to see you there!


Other News

Italy’s regulated online gambling market revenue improved by one-fifth in Q1. According to lawyer Giulio Coraggio, the growth is mainly driven by punters (and operators!) flocking to the regulated market.


The UK Gambling Commission fined Gala Coral nearly £880,000 after taking hundreds of thousands of pounds from a “VIP” problem gambler who was using the proceeds of theft to feed his habit.


While Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright has publicly identified himself as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto (which, however might not be true), the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission has been looking to facilitate gambling with Bitcoin or other digital currencies.


Bet365 is taking the Bulgarian regulator to court.


Lithuania’s Gaming Control Authority has added several new entries to its ISP-blocking blacklist, including ten domains belonging to Unibet. The regulator also accused the company of “maliciously” switching Internet domains in a systematic manner in order to circumvent the ISP blocking orders.


Dafabet is the new shirt sponsor of Scottish Premiership football club Celtic.