Netherlands Gaming Authority Releases Study on Social Gaming and Gambling

The people at the Netherlands Gaming Authority have had a busy week. Not only did the regulator publish its annual report on the past year, but it also released the study Gambling and Digital Games in the Netherlands, conducted by the US-based research firm SuperData, showing that many players of social games cross over into gambling.

The relationship between social gaming and gambling will also be a major topic of conversation at the upcoming Gaming in Holland Conference & Expo.

Additionally, the regulator released an information sheet on the duty of care that slot machine operators have to their players, as “few” land-based operators in the Netherlands – with the notable exception of Holland Casino – were found to possess an adequate policy in this regard.

Last but not least, the Netherlands Gaming Authority’s CEO, Marja Appelman, delivered a speech (full text here) to the British House of Commons on the future of gaming regulation.


Gaming Authority Calls on Senate to Adopt Remote Gaming Bill

Significantly, in all aforementioned communications, the Netherlands Gaming Authority called on the Dutch Senate to approve the pending remote gaming bill as soon as possible, in order to improve consumer protection and facilitate enforcement.

Additionally, Marja Appelman, CEO at the Netherlands Gaming Authority, went on national radio to call for swift enactment of the remote gaming bill by the Dutch Senate, as fellow interviewee PvdA Senator André Postema maintained that the regulator should simply put more energy in enforcing existing regulation.

Meanwhile, Jan Suyver, Chairman of the Board at the Netherlands Gaming Authority, told Dutch newspaper Trouw that “only with the new bill can we ensure that online operators will act in accordance with the rules.”


Labor Trouble Brewing at Holland Casino?

Labor union FNV has lost its court case seeking to prevent Holland Casino from transforming itself from a non-profit foundation into a limited liability company – a first step in preparation of eventual privatization.

In response, several Dutch labor unions are considering industrial action, including strikes, against the casino operator in order to preserve existing labor conditions.

To add insult to injury, the board of Holland Casino has taken steps to transfer the land-based casino operator’s private pension fund to a general pension fund without awaiting labor union approval.


Novamedia Apologizes for Exposing Customer Data; Receives Gaming Authority Warning

Customer data of Dutch Novamedia-owned lottery operators Postcode Loterij, Vriendenloterij, and BankGiro Loterij has been compromised, due to a third-party online security vulnerability.

The Netherlands Gaming Authority also issued cease and desist orders against the same operators for failing to fulfill their legal obligation to mention both place and date of their draws in their promotional materials.


Novomatic Acquires German Slots Hall Operator

Following the acquisition by Novomatic Netherlands of the seven SuperGame arcades owned by Ron and Marcel Traarbach in the Dutch Limburg region, the Austrian gaming company also managed to purchase the German slots hall operator Casino Royal.

The acquisition makes Novomatic Germany’s leading operator of gambling halls.


Sweden Moves to Scrap State Gambling Monopoly

According to a government-appointed review, Sweden’s state gambling monopoly should be largely scrapped and replaced with a system under which online gambling companies are licensed and taxed.

In response, Nordic operator Kindred Group called for a swift processing of Swedish gambling reform, as well as a very ambitious channelization goal. Peter Alling, Head of Public Affairs Nordics at Kindred Group:

“We know that any attempt to regulate prices, limit the choice of games, or charge high taxes will have a negative effect on channelisation.

With a channelisation goal of at least 90 percent, but preferably 95 percent, the licensing system will be credible and efficient on responsibility measures, including the proposed system for individual voluntary suspension from all gambling companies. In order to achieve that level, as many companies as possible must apply for a license in Sweden, and for that to happen there can be no uncertainties.”


Dutch Senate Declines to Declare Pending Gaming Bills “Controversial”

The Dutch Senate has declined to declare the two gaming bills – the remote gaming bill and the casino reform bill – “controversial,” meaning that debate on these bills will move forward as scheduled, without awaiting the formation of a new government.

As a result, a major threat to gambling reform in the Netherlands has – for now – been averted. If everything goes smoothly the Senate could still vote on the aforementioned bills before the summer, in which case the first online gaming licenses will likely be issued in the course of 2018.


Other News

NYX Gaming Group has signed a new long-term partnership with Nederlandse Loterij.


This year’s World Poker Tour will kick off on May 5 at Holland Casino Amsterdam.


Last week, the members of VAN Kansspelen, the Dutch trade association of land-based slot machine operators, reappointed current board members Frits Huffnagel, Ed Schunselaar, and Ryamond Oosterbeek to second three-year terms. The other two board members, whose terms did not yet end, are Rob Kiffen and Aad Kobus.


Don’t forget you can join 500 professionals from the land-based gaming sector in Berlin at the 2017 EUROMAT Gaming Summit.


British bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral has posted its first full-year figures for 2016 as a merged company. Revenue of the combined company rose 11% to £2.3bn.


An unknown Asian investor has quietly snapped up over 11% of Canadian online gambling operator Amaya Gaming, the parent company of PokerStars.


Secondary lottery operator Lottoland has launched its first independently developed lottery product “WorldMillions.”


Although the use of artificial intelligence could potentially be very helpful in detecting problem gambling, gamblers could still work around this unless there is a level of multi-operator cooperation within the industry.


Evolution Gaming has launched “the world’s fastest live roulette.” Game rounds take around 25 seconds from spin to spin.


Evolution Gaming is also planning to build a new live casino studio in Vancouver in partnership with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation.


LeoVegas has confirmed the launch of its new sports betting service in Ireland.


Despite the country’s punitive tax regime, which caused several operators to withdraw already, Bwin is reportedly pursuing a Polish betting license.


Skills-based games are heading to the Las Vegas Strip.