”Until the new licensing regime is in place, it’ll be a game of cat and mouse, albeit one in slow motion”

 

alan-littler

As is widely known the Gaming Authority announced on 1 December 2016 that, as of 1 January 2017, it will amend its enforcement policy. Essentially, the news boils down to the fact that operators who are offering remote games of chance in the Netherlands in breach of the (infamous) prioritisation criteria will not receive a warning letter before the Authority commences enforcement proceedings. The greatest risks are for those who choose to push at the boundaries of the current approach to enforcement. Until the new licensing regime is in place, it’ll be a game of cat and mouse, albeit one in slow motion.

 

Whilst the current situation benefits those who do not intend to be licensed in the Netherlands, it is of paramount importance that the remote gaming bill moves smoothly through the Senate in Q1 2017. Although teething problems with new the regime can be expected it should bring greater certainty for all involved. Nevertheless, darkness still prevails in terms of the requirements which secondary legislation will impose upon the sector.

That said, the State Secretary for Security & Justice sent a letter to the House of Representatives on 6 December 2016 responding to the various motions which MPs passed just prior to approving the remote gaming bill back in early July this year.

It appears that sense has prevailed and the Ministry will not adopt the more outlandish approaches advanced by the House; taking a balanced approach and not undermining the 80% channelisation rate retains a prominent place in the Ministry’s thinking. It’ll be interesting to see what the draft secondary legislation actually contains when published for consultation; all being well this will also occur in Q1 2017.