The Netherlands: Gambling Paradise or Battlefield?

What will the regulated Dutch online market look like? Ecommerce magazine Emerce took an in-depth look and expects the market to be dominated by large British and Scandinavian operators. But “eventually there will also be opportunities for smaller Dutch businesses.”

 

Holland Casino Appoints Two New Supervisory Directors

Ahead of its expected sale and privatization, state-owned Holland Casino has appointed two new members of its supervisory board: Willem Bröcker (1951) and Rozan Dekker (1972).

Bröcker is a former politician; and prominent director and consultant, while Dekker has a strong background in financial management.

 

Netherlands Gaming Authority Releases Studies

Last week, the Netherlands Gaming Authority released two new studies.

The first, a literature study, investigates the relationship between increases in marketing spending and gambling participation. While there could be some exceptions, increases in marketing spending are generally not likely to attract a significant number of new players, the study finds.

The second study looks into the current market situation for compliance testing and auditing of gaming machines and software in the Netherlands.

 

Remote Gaming and Lobbying

A television program on political lobbying in the Netherlands dedicated an episode to the remote gaming bill that (eventually) managed to pass the Lower House.

TV host Rick Nieman visited and spoke with representatives of some of the major parties involved. His conclusion:

“Large online operators appear to have won the battle: they will gain access to the Dutch market. But the charity lotteries still possess a trump card: the Senate.”

 

Former Amaya CEO Involved in Kickback Scheme

Quebec’s securities watchdog says it has uncovered a sophisticated system of insider trading involving former Amaya Inc. chief executive David Baazov by which kickbacks were paid in exchange for stock tips on several impending takeovers. The deals stretch back six years – long before Amaya took over gambling behemoth PokerStars in 2014.

 

UK Social Betting Startup Opens Crowdfunding for International Investors

UK startup WantMyBet, a social network for football betting, will allow its users to register, bet, deposit and check balances across multiple bookmaker accounts all from the same place.

Check out their launch video.

The company is currently raising a crowdfund round of £240K for 13.79% at a pre-money valuation of £1.5m. Full details here.

WantMyBet appears to be an initiative worth looking into – if you have some cash to spare.

 

Ministry of Security and Justice Releases Baseline Measurement of Dutch Gambling Behavior

The Ministry of Security has released a report containing a baseline measurement of the general behavior of Dutch punters. Some of the report’s main findings are:

  • A large part (62.1%) of the Dutch population aged 16 years and older has recently (over the last 12 months) participated in gambling.
  • Lotteries are by far the most popular, followed by scratch cards, slot machines, bingo and casino games.
  • The Netherlands has an estimated 8.4 million recreational players, an estimated 95,700 at-risk players, and roughly 79,000 problem gamblers.

Although the number of suspected problem gamblers is considerably higher than in previous studies, the researchers explicitly remarked that their methodology “leads to an overestimation of the number of problem gamblers” when used in population surveys. This latest figure should thus not be compared to previous estimates.

In response to these findings, State Secretary of Security and Justice Klaas Dijkhoff wrote that “Dutch consumers will benefit from a rapid implementation of the pending remote gaming bill, which allows for better protection of online gamblers and which also elevates the duty of care in other gaming sectors.”

Press coverage of the report’s finding that twelve percent of punters in land-based arcade halls are to be labeled as “problem gamblers,” has drawn the ire of VAN, the trade association of land-based slot machine operators. “This conclusion warrants further investigation […] as the authors insufficiently distinguished between slot machine players in our and other segments of the gaming market. The effectiveness of current prevention measures, moreover, has not been adequately taken into account,” Frits Huffnagel, chairman of VAN said.

Rutger-Jan Hebben, representing Speel Verantwoord, the Dutch association of online operators, noted that the report once again showed the need for the quick regulation of online gaming. “The major advantage of online gaming is that all actions are transparent and traceable. This means that each transaction, deposit or amount of play time can be monitored,” Hebben added.

 

Other News

This year’s Excellence in Gaming conference will kick off in a few weeks in Berlin. Like every year, we expect there will be a sizable delegation from the Netherlands. Check out who is attending here!

 

Dutch charity lottery platform supplier Fair Share picks up its second customer. After World Animal Protection, the national Search & Rescue Brigades will now also be organizing their very own charity lottery this September.

 

De Postcode Loterij has helped to finance a media campaign by the Johan Cruyff Foundation, with the goal of stimulating participation in sports among children.

 

Contrary to what is often believed, playing the lottery can be addictive.

 

Betsson acquired a locally licensed operator in Lithuania, strengthening its foothold in the Baltic region with licenses in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

 

Silverfish has launched a new responsible gaming platform, helping, among others, Moroccan state monopoly lottery, La Marocaine Des Jeux et des Sports, to maintain the highest WLA and EL responsible gaming standards.

 

Betradar will sponsor (and facilitate betting on) the upcoming League of Legends World Championship.

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