Dutch Court: VAT on Slot Machine Gambling Violates Neutrality Principle

Until July 1, 2008, operators of slot machines in the Netherlands were charged VAT while other forms of gambling were exempt of this tax. The Appeals Court of Arnhem-Leeuwarden has now judged that this distinction violated the neutrality principle. As a consequence, an unnamed slot machine operator will receive a refund of almost €25m.


Dutch State Lottery Had €121m in Assets Frozen

Last week, Dutch class action claimant Loterijverlies unexpectedly succeeded in obtaining an account preservation order from the District Court in The Hague against the Dutch State Lottery (now part of Nederlandse Loterij). No less than €121m in assets of the State Lottery were frozen ahead of its end-of-the week draw.

On Friday, however, a Dutch court ended the account preservation order, prohibited Loterijverlies from seeking additional account preservation orders, and also ordered Loterijverlies to pay Staatsloterij’s legal costs.

Loterijverlies is claiming to seek compensation on behalf of thousands of lottery players for misleading advertising practices by the Dutch lottery operator.


Dutch Senate Extends Deadlines

The permanent committee for Security and Justice of the Dutch Senate has extended its deadlines to submit written questions on the remote gaming bill and casino reform bill by one week. Questions can now be submitted until April 18.


JVH Gaming and Van der Valk Hotels to Continue Successful Hotel-Casino Formula

JVH gaming and the Van der Valk hotel chain will soon start realizing their sixth hotel-casino combination in Akersloot, near Alkmaar.

“Akersloot will not be our last hotel-casino project,” Eric Olders, CEO of JVH gaming said.

Meanwhile, Van der Valk is reportedly planning to also build a new hotel, including casino, in Echt, between Roermond and Sittard. The local city council, however, has not yet been informed.


New UK Problem Gambling Study Finds Flat Problem Gambling Rates

Media reporting on the study, however, appears to contradict its conclusions, CalvinAyre notes:

“[…] the predominant UK media takeaway from the study seems to be that problem gambling is on the rise, when in fact the numbers clearly demonstrate that problem gambling rates have remained more or less constant over the past decade, despite a significant increase in both the availability and variety of gambling options during this period.”


The Stakes of the Dutch Election

Today, the Netherlands will elect a new House of Representatives. How will the outcome of this election affect the regulation of gaming in the country?

According to the latest polls, parties that voted yes on the remote gaming bill in July 2016 will end up with close to two-thirds of the available seats.

Still, there are some potential obstacles to keep an eye out for, as much will depend on the exact composition of the new coalition government.

Read our full analysis, including industry reactions, here.

In related news, British bookmakers are predicting that the PVV will win today’s elections.


Other News

Holland Casino has appointed Ruud Bergervoet as its new CFO.


Authorities at the Isle of Man are cooperating with the Dutch revenue service to identify punters owing gambling tax in the Netherlands.


The Schiphol Airport branch of Holland Casino has closed for good.


German lawmakers have approved legislation to criminalize match-fixing and betting related fraud. The legislation to criminalize betting-related manipulation of sport by athletes, trainers and officials was approved by the Bundestag on Thursday and establishes sanctions of up to five years imprisonment.


The European Commission has judged the proposed reforms in German online casino legislation as “non-viable.”


The private owners of Austrian gaming technology group Novomatic are reportedly working with Australian investment banking group Macquarie to prepare an initial public offering that could value the company at more than 6 billion euros ($6.3 billion).


Sports betting is being transformed by data tools, real-time wagering, fund managers and risk analysis.


Online gambling is much more of an opportunity than a threat to land-based casinos, recent figures presented by Ceasars Entertainment show.


The Italian gaming market was worth €19.2bn in 2016.


The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) has signed a two-year title sponsorship contract with bwin for the Grand Slam of Darts event.


Scientific Games has signed an exclusive James Bond licensing deal.


43% of online bingo players play in bed.