Remote Gaming Bill Debate to Continue on Thursday

On Thursday June 30, starting at 10:15 am, the Dutch Lower House will continue its plenary debate on the country’s long-awaited remote gaming bill.

In case you missed it, check out our recap of the first part of the debate: Dutch Remote Gaming Bill Heading for Senate Majority.

Meanwhile, State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff has officially responded to questions raised by MP’s during the first part of the debate.

According to Dijkhoff, the bill still aims to channel no less than 80% of players to licensed operators – despite the proposed gaming tax increase from 20% to 29% of GGR.

The question whether operators who have already been active on the Dutch market could still be eligible for a Dutch license, as well as the practical implementation of enforcement measures and priorities, will be left for the Gaming Authority to decide, Dijkhoff also said.

Although several MP’s wanted more information on secondary legislation currently being prepared, the state secretary said that such lower regulation would be dependent on the specifics of the bill that is ultimately adopted by the Lower House. Draft secondary legislation would, however, be available for discussion when the Senate is to debate the bill.

Already 27 amendments to the bill have been proposed.

A live stream of tomorrow’s debate can be watched here. We will report more extensively after the debate has concluded. Stay tuned!

 

How Will Brexit Impact the iGaming Industry?

Not surprisingly, the UK’s vote to leave the EU is likely to have an impact on Europe’s online gaming industry. Several UK operators for instance, saw an immediate plunge in share prices when the news broke.

Industry insiders also noted that Brexit could have negative consequences for iGaming companies operating out of the UK.

“The Brexit vote will negatively affect Britain as a place to invest and set up as a head office for iGaming businesses. It will create uncertainty about future tax rates, inflation and economic prosperity and lose its appeal as an international center able to trade and move employees freely with other EU Member States,” David Schollenberger, Head of Gaming and Leisure at Healys Law Firm, commented.

Gibraltar-based operators could be particularly affected. “Gibraltar-based operators will suddenly find that they don’t have an EU license, and it remains to be seen whether they’ll struggle to operate in major regulated EU territories such as Germany,” Michel Kopec, senior business manager for Better Collective, said.

Gibraltar is home to around 30 online gaming operators, including companies such as William Hill, Ladbrokes and Bwin.party, who have online operations based on the UK territory.

“Bookmakers and their suppliers could soon be packing their bags – with Malta the likely destination,” Kopec added.

This afternoon, starting at 16:00 CET/15:00 BST, iGaming Business is set to hold a webinar during which Christina Thakor-Rankin a Principal Consultant at 1710 Gaming, will talk about the potential impact of Brexit on the iGaming sector as well as answer questions from the audience.

 

Fair Play Co-Develops Responsible Gaming App

Land-based operator Fair Play Casinos, in cooperation with E-ASSYST and Gamblers Anonymous, has co-developed an app to prevent problem gambling, in particular in land-based settings. The app is based on the treatment model of Prof. Dr. Peeters (Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen).

A comparable app, aimed at online punters, was presented earlier this month at this year’s Gaming in Holland Conference.

 

Malta Gaming Authority Reveals Revenue Growth; Aims to Further Facilitate Online Gaming

At the end of 2015, Malta was home to no less than 269 gaming companies, holding 490 licenses. During that year, a total of €55.8 million was collected in gaming taxes, up from €53.2 million in 2014, while the sector made a direct contribution of 8.2% to Malta’s Gross Value Added in the economy.

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) itself also reported a year-on-year increase in revenue of 4.3%.

Considering the importance of the gaming sector to Malta’s economy, the MGA is aiming to further facilitate safe and legal gaming on the island nation.

 

Other News

The current Dutch charity lottery regime is only supported by a limited number of charities, according to the chief editor at philanthropic publishing company Lenthe.

 

The Dutch State Lottery (Staatsloterij) has renewed its sponsorship deal with Roompot cycling team. Interestingly, lottery operator De Lotto (which recently merged with the Staatsloterij) vehemently objected earlier this year to a sponsorship deal between future competitor Unibet and the Royal Dutch Cycling Union.

 

Betradar, the sports betting and data brand of Sportradar, has entered into a partnership with ESSA to step up their efforts in tackling match-fixing in tennis.

 

The German Bundesliga football club Schalke and online casino operator bet-at-home have extended their sponsorship deal for a further two seasons.

 

Online gaming made legislative progress in California and Pennsylvania.