Dutch Slot Machine Operators Take Steps to Reduce Problem Gambling

Recent decreases in the number of new problem gamblers in the Netherlands indicate that the sector is on the right track with regard to combating problem gambling, VAN, the trade association of Dutch slot machine operators, claims.

“This development further demonstrates the desirability of strengthening existing preventive measures,” Frits Huffnagel, Chairman of VAN, said. Contrary to the new measures that are being introduced by the pending remote gaming bill, the sector’s own prevention strategy is “tailored to slot machine and amusement arcades.”

“I sincerely hope that our sector’s prevention strategy will be adopted by the legislature, so that we will be better able to make a valuable contribution to the further reduction problem gambling,” Huffnagel added.

 

Malta Facing EU Pressure on Definition of “Illegal Sports Betting”

The Malta edition of The Independent explains what is at stake:

“The issue centres on a new definition of ‘illegal sports betting’ being pushed forward by the Council of Europe in its Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions.

The definition in question reads: ‘“Illegal sports betting” means any sports betting activity whose type or operator is not allowed under the applicable law of the jurisdiction where the             consumer is located.’

According to Malta Gaming Authority Executive Chairman Joe Cuschieri, the definition could have dire consequences for Malta’s remote gaming industry.

He explains, ‘This definition will effectively render illegal all operators who offer their services via their Malta Gaming Authority licence in other European states. […]’

‘If the EU were to ratify the Convention of the Council of Europe, such a definition will have automatic EU applicability which effectively gives the “stamp of approval” to the restrictions imposed by EU member states on the provision of cross-border services.’”

The gaming industry in Malta, which mostly serves customers in other EU countries, accounts for circa 11 percent of Malta’s GDP.

 

CJEU Requires Proportionality Test on Member States’ Secondary Gambling Legislation

In a recent case concerning concerning Italian gaming regulation, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the proportionality test is required to determine the necessity of requirements established by national secondary legislation on the award of gambling licenses to EU-based operators, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) observed:

“The Court found, among other things, that it is ‘necessary to determine whether the restriction at issue in the main proceedings is suitable for ensuring the attainment of the objective pursued and does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective [of combating criminality and protecting consumers…], including by ensuring that the national legislation at issue genuinely reflects a concern to attain it in a consistent and systematic manner.’”

 

Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets Preparing Advertising Ban on Binary Options

The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) is preparing an advertising ban on “harmful” financial products, such as binary options and CFD’s.

“We find it very important that an advertising ban on binary options and other harmful financial instruments will be implemented,” Merel van Vroonhoven, Chairperson of the Board of the AFM, said.

According to Optieclub, the only licensed provider of binary options in the Netherlands, the proposed advertising ban amounts to no more than window-dressing. “All necessary regulation to address misleading advertising already exists,” the company’s attorney said.

 

Holland Casino Visitor Wins €2,250,000 on Mega Millions Slot Machine

A lucky Holland Casino visitor became an instant millionaire by winning the jackpot on one of the casino’s Mega Millions slot machines.

In related news, the Utrecht branch of Holland Casino may face forcible closure next year if the casino chain does not succeed in finding a new location.

 

How Much is Holland Casino Worth?

With the proposed privatization of Holland Casino – which is expected for next year – getting closer and closer, an increasing number of Dutch business publications is starting to produce estimates of the casino chain’s value.

According to daily Het Financieele Dagblad, Holland Casino may be eventually be sold for as little as €586m. BNR Nieuwsradio, by contrast, reports a likely value of €900m-€1bn, adding that going public may turn out to be a better option than a sale to a competing gaming consortium or private equity firm.

For now, however, this still appears the most detailed publicly accessible discussion of the likely value of Holland Casino.

 

Dutch Court Preserves Smoking Rooms

The District Court of The Hague has declined to deem smoking rooms in buildings operated by the hospitality sector illegal.

In the past, smoking bans have proved particularly costly for casino operators.

 

Online Gaming Spend to Approach Total Spend on All Digital Goods and Services by 2021

New data from Juniper Research indicates that the value of online gambling wagers – including online lottery spend – will increase from ca. $550 billion this year to ca. $950 billion by 2021. Wager levels will thus approach total spend on all digital goods and services by that time, forecast to exceed $1 trillion for the first time in 2021.

Existing gambling activities are increasingly migrating to the online environment, with the majority of net growth attributable to users of mobile channels.

 

Other News

The UK Gambling Commission has launched the the nation’s first legal action involving eSports betting.

 

An increasingly cashless society may be a threat to slot machine operators.

 

High-quality (VR) video games may be the next big thing on casino floors.

 

Social casino gaming continues to grow.

 

TV networks should support sports betting.

 

Greece could launch a public tender for online licenses as early as October. But with tax rates of around 35 percent, who will be interested?

 

The US gaming lobby is increasing its efforts to legalize sports betting in the country.

 

Bet365 is facing litigation in Spain, as punters claim that the operator unfairly limited their wagering or closed their accounts for being too successful.

 

Former TV presenter Jessica Broekhuis, who frequently spoke at past Gaming in Holland Conferences, discusses her new book on (gambling) addiction.