Dutch Senate Releases Second Set of Questions on Remote Gaming Bill

Last week, the Dutch Senate publicly released the second round of written questions regarding the remote gaming bill. The only political groups submitting questions were CDA, SP (both declared opponents of the bill) and PvdA. Almost all questions were submitted by CDA and – since there is a clear Senate majority in favor of the bill – are not expected to have much of any impact.

Interestingly, the land-based gaming sector may belatedly have found an unexpected ally in PvdA in its opposition to CRUKS. “Will the government allow the arcade sector to experiment with alternative self-exclusion programs?” PvdA senators asked (p. 4).


Holland Casino Amsterdam Opens High Limit Area as Strikes Continue

Holland Casino Amsterdam has opened a brand new gaming area for high rollers – including an exclusive private loft. Photos of the High Limit Area can be seen here.

Meanwhile, dissatisfied employees continue to engage in industrial action at various Holland Casino branches. Last night, Holland Casino employees went on strike in Amsterdam and Zandvoort. It was the fifteenth strike since April.

Last week, the works council of Holland Casino also applied for an interim court order to stop the casino’s board from changing the operator’s legal form until the High Court of the Netherlands has heard the council’s pending appeal.


Dutch Land-Based Arcade Sector Develops Responsible Gaming App

Janshen-Hahnraths Group, owner of Fair Play Casinos, commissioned E-Assyst to develop a responsible gaming app to help casino operators to fulfill their duty of care towards their customers.

The app, which was developed in cooperation with addiction care facility Novadic-Kentron, assists at-risk players, and even problem gamblers, in setting fitting limits with regard to both expenditure and playing time.

“Personal contact is paramount in offering effective treatment or risk management. This app can be used to record and monitor agreements between player and casino employee, treatment professional, or buddy,” neuropsychologist Prof Dr Ard Peeters (Radboud UMC) said.

“At present, pilot projects are underway at Fair Play, Hommerson, and Novo Gaming. We aim to use these experiences to further improve the app, in particular with regard to usability,” Peeters added.


PokerStars Owner Amaya Proposes Name Change, Dutch Market Entry

Amaya, owner of the PokerStars brand, recently informed investors that it has moved to propose a corporate name change to “The Stars Group Inc” as the company is taking aggressive steps to gain market share in other product verticals.

The company also expressed interest in entering the regulated Dutch online market once it opens. “There are great opportunities for us in the Netherlands. We’ve been [hearing] quite positive indications about regulation in online gaming,” Amaya CEO Rafi Ashkenazi told investors in an earnings call transcript.


Gaming Authority CEO to Discuss Licensing Details at Gaming in Holland Conference & Expo

The Netherlands Gaming Authority has confirmed that its CEO, Marja Appelman, will discuss the prospective licensing procedure – including criteria on which future applications will be judged – for remote gaming operators at the upcoming Gaming in Holland Conference & Expo.

Ms Appelman will speak on this topic on June 13, following the presentation of Security and Justice official Dennis van Breemen on the secondary legislation to accompany the remote gaming bill.

Furthermore, the Gaming in Holland Conference & Expo is proud to announce two new sponsors. Lottovate, which has announced to go live in the Netherlands in Q3 with an innovative social media-based lottery, has joined us as a strategic partner. JCDecaux, market leader in outdoor advertising, is our new media partner.

Of course, we would also like to thank our other strategic partners, sponsors, and media partners.

Don’t forget: it is only four weeks until this year’s Gaming in Holland Conference & Expo kicks off. Register today!


Other News

Following earlier reports by both State Secretary Dijkhoff and the Netherlands Gaming Authority, Dutch daily De Telegraaf has now also published the fact that foreign online operators often simply refuse to pay the fines issued by the Dutch regulator.


State Secretary Dijkhoff answered questions by MPs Van Toorenburg and Bruins Slot (both CDA) on the illegal betting syndicate to which former footballer Patrick Kluivert owed significant gambling debts.


Class action claim foundation Loterijverlies has lost its court case in which it sought to prevent the Dutch State Lottery from offering a free draw to compensate past participants for the operator’s misleading advertising practices.


Shares in online gambling company 888 Holdings have fallen by 8% after it revealed it was under investigation by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). The UKGC appears to be doubting whether the operator’s self-exclusion options are sufficiently effective to protect vulnerable punters.


UK Gambling Commission CEO Sarah Harrison addressed the annual conference of the UK Lotteries Council, addressing, among other things, the changing gaming landscape in the country.


Figures released this week by Spanish gaming regulator Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) show total online revenue of €122.7m in the three months ending March 31, nearly 20% higher than the same period last year but a 2.4% decrease from Q4 2016’s total.


iGaming lead generation company Catena Media is looking to spend €50m on additional acquisitions.


Paddy Power Betfair has acquired US-based DFS operator DRAFT for a total sum of $48m. Other operators, including William Hill, 888 Holdings, bet365, GVC, and Unibet, could now decide to enter this market as well.


Following several successful acquisitions, Nordic betting operator Cherry AB has reported a 205% year-on-year surge in Q1 revenues to SEK 541m (£47m).


International betting integrity body ESSA has elected a new chairperson and expanded its board. GVC’s Heike Mayer succeeds outgoing ESSA Chair, Mike O’Kane, while Betway’s Jon Russell and David Foster of Paddy Power Betfair have joined the organization’s board of directors.


The newly appointed administrators of 3D poker site PKR are actively seeking a sale, after the company filed for administration last week. At this point it is unclear whether players will be eventually paid back.


BetConstruct has obtained a skill games supply license from the Malta Gaming Authority, allowing the company to offer its fantasy sports product on a B2C and B2B level.


Online casino Vera&John has launched a range of video bingo games from Zitro Interactive.