Netherlands Gaming Authority Extends Sportech’s Tote Betting License until July 1, 2017

While awaiting the outcome of the ongoing tender for an exclusive five-year horse racing and harness racing totalizator betting license, the Netherlands Gaming Authority has extended the expiring license of current licensee Sportech until July 1, 2017.

The extension, however, is in clear violation of EU law, gaming lawyer Frank Tolboom of Kalff Katz & Franssen said:

“On September 26, 2016, the District Court in The Hague ruled that the earlier allocation process for the totalizator (horse racing) betting license violated EU law. The same necessarily applies to the current extension of the license until July 1, 2017. It is settled case law from the CJEU that national legislation in breach of EU law may not be applied – not even for a transitional period.”


Staatsloterij Receives Complaints on Account of Results Checker Malfunction

Staatsloterij (part of Nederlandse Loterij) received numerous complaints after its results checker malfunctioned following the lottery’s biggest-of-the-year New Year’s Eve draw. In response, the operator released this statement.

Some players are now claiming that threw away their winning tickets, after the malfunctioning results checker indicated they had failed to win a prize. According to gaming lawyer Frank Tolboom, these players appear to be out of luck, even if some form of settlement would not be entirely unthinkable – in particular if Staatsloterij decides to opt for leniency – but only if these punters will somehow be able to prove that they actually owned a winning ticket.


Netherlands Gaming Authority Grants New Five-Year Charity Lottery Licenses

The Netherlands Gaming Authority has granted new five-year charity lottery licenses, valid through 2021, to the following five operators:

  • Nationale Postcode Loterij N.V.;
  • VriendenLoterij N.V.;
  • BankGiro Loterij N.V.;
  • Lottovate Nederland B.V.;
  • Stichting Samenwerkende Non-profit Loterijen (Nationale Stichting Grote Clubactie, Vereniging Scouting Nederland, Nationale Vereniging De Zonnebloem en Stichting Nationale Jeugd Fonds Jantje Beton).


Speel Verantwoord Offers Support in Struggle against Match-Fixing

Speel Verantwoord, the trade association of online operators interested in acquiring a Dutch license, wants to get officially involved in the fight against match-fixing. “It is in our best interest,” Speel Verantwoord Director Rutger-Jan Hebben said. “We possess both knowledge and expertise that we would gladly share with relevant governing bodies.”


What Future for the Binary Options Industry?

Following a difficult 2016, what will the new year hold for for the binary options industry? Binary options analyst Victor Golovtchenko identifies, among others, this important trend:

“Another trend is the introduction of platforms that are more fun – instead of being marketed as investment products, some binary options operators are focusing on the game aspect of the products. Why make people deposit big sums of money and make them dream about a new house, when instead the much more realistic prospect of a gaming product could attract many small depositors.

This business model will hinge on reducing the costs of client acquisition to a level that can justify the effort of building and maintaining a platform and a brokerage. With all cards on the table, with no illusions sold, this business model may well have a brighter future.”


Founder of Postcode Loterij Donates Shares to Non-Profit Foundation

Boudewijn Poelmann and Annemiek Hoogenboom, co-founders of Novamedia, the company owning the Postcode Lottery format, have donated their shares to a non-profit foundation in order to protect Novamedia as a “social enterprise.”

Poelmann discussed the reasons for his donation with talk show host Eva Jinek.

According to commentator Peter de Waard in Dutch daily de Volkskrant, Poelmann’s decision may have had a clear strategic objective: to position his company as a non-profit organization dedicated to the public good; and thus, to ingratiate himself with politicians and regulators as the Dutch gambling market is being opened to foreign operators.

De Waard also notes that Poelmann acquired most of his personal wealth through the sale of a media company, Independent Media, rather than the Postcode Loterij and related licensing fees. Poelmann, however, was only able to build his media company (and the resultant lion’s share of his personal wealth) by initially employing his lottery income.


Other News

JVH Gaming & Entertainment lost a court case the former owner of a casino in Lisse had started against the gaming hall chain.


The Appeals Court in Amsterdam has once more confirmed poker’s legal classification as a game of chance.


The Netherlands Gaming Authority has been warning Dutch consumers of an online pyramid scheme.


ECA Honorary President Ron Goudsmit will join the judging panel for the GamblingCompliance Global Regulatory Awards 2017.


UK-licensed online gambling operators face a new fee structure in 2017, with most operators seeing a discount, although a select few will see their fees rise.


Sports Minister Patrick O’Donovan expressed deep concern over problem gambling among Irish athletes, explicitly warning of the “scourge” of online gambling.


Surprisingly, 25% of problem gamblers who sought treatment in the Spanish region of Galicia were reportedly hooked on lotteries.


In 2016, the most Googled term in the US was “Powerball.”


Juan Espinosa has been appointed as the new head of the Spanish regulator Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ).


UK operator William Hill has decided to leave the Czech Republic as a new gambling regulatory regime will take effect on January 1. Just twelve companies, of mostly local origin, have received licenses to operate sports betting options and card games in the country.


Bet365 has unveiled a new feature that allows punters to add, swap or remove selections in unsettled bets.


After lengthy discussions, Israel’s Ministry of Finance has finally agreed to allow online lotteries and other games like Keno to the country’s residents.


A successful Swedish pizzeria businessman has opened a Sweden-facing, pizza-themed online casino: