Netherlands Gaming Authority Announces Major Change in Enforcement Policy

On Saturday, the Netherlands Gaming Authority unexpectedly announced much stricter enforcement priorities for online operators serving Dutch customers.

Under its old enforcement policy, the Netherlands Gaming Authority would only actively enforce the country’s prohibition on online gambling if operators would either:

  • offer their services on a Dutch-language website;
  • make use of a website with a .nl web extension;
  • advertise their services on television, radio, or in print.

In a major and unexpected change, the regulator’s new policy, which comes into force on June 1, would add several new enforcement priorities to this list:

  • the operator makes use of a promotional website with a .nl extension that redirects the visitor to a .com domain;
  • the operator employs Dutch-sounding brand names, or has a website that features typical Dutch visual elements;
  • the operator facilitates the use of typical Dutch payment methods;
  • the operators fails to employ geo-blocking to prevent Dutch visitors from accessing its website.

Speel Verantwoord, the Dutch trade association of online operators, expressed surprise that the Netherlands Gaming Authority did not consult with the industry before announcing such a major policy shift, adding that the stricter measures would not be in the best interest of the consumer and would likely to have a negative impact on the player channelization rate once the regulated market opens.


Netherlands Gaming Authority Celebrates Fifth Anniversary as Legislative Progress on Remote Gaming Bill Stalls

Greater clarity with regard to the Netherlands Gaming Authority’s unexpected policy shift emerged on Monday during the festivities celebrating the regulator’s fifth anniversary.

State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff of Security and Justice delivered a speech during the event in which he alluded to a lack of trust in the Dutch Senate with regard to the Gaming Authority’s ability to strictly enforce existing regulations, making further legislative liberalization undesirable. “We are currently looking at ways to move the political process forward,” Dijkhoff said, while also mentioning the bill’s many “principled opponents.”

Now that the current government is under resignation, Senators representing political group PvdA in the Upper House have reportedly been developing cold feet with regard to further gambling liberalization, potentially robbing the remote gaming bill of its projected Senate majority.

The Gaming Authority’s new online enforcement policy thus appears to have been designed to convince doubters in the Dutch Senate of the regulator’s willingness and ability to keep rogue online operators in line.

The Netherlands Gaming Authority’s own recap of the event is available here.

On Tuesday, the Gaming Authority also released an English-language version of its annual report.


Latest Regulatory Developments to Be Discussed at Gaming in Holland Conference & Expo

Netherlands Gaming Authority CEO Marja Appelman, who will speak on June 13 at the upcoming Gaming in Holland Conference & Expo, has affirmed that she will address the regulator’s new enforcement policy. The other major topic of Ms Appelman’s speech will be remote gaming licensing.

Representatives of the international gaming industry have already expressed great interest in these latest regulatory developments. The Betsson Group, owner of the Kroon Casino and Oranje Casino brands, has confirmed it will send a senior executive to attend Ms Appelman’s speech and subsequent discussion.

Industry bodies such as the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) and Speel Verantwoord will also offer their comments on the Gaming Authority’s new enforcement policy.

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Visual Artist Loz Taylor to Exhibit at Gaming in Holland Conference & Expo

Visual artist and horse racing expert Loz Taylor will exhibit his work at the upcoming Gaming in Holland Conference & Expo.

Loz has been working out of his Stored Images Studios in the UK for the past ten years, creating quality gambling Pop Art relating to odds, chance and risk.

“I see the world through the eyes of a gambler, having been one for the past forty years, and this gives me a more informed view as an artist when it comes to commenting on gambling and the ‘gamble of life,’” Loz explains.

“You don’t see much gambling related art in galleries or at art fairs. Yet gambling is all around, it’s the new consumerism. I’ve got a feeling things are about to take off though, as there are just too many ‘players’ with an interest in art for it not to.”

The exhibit will mostly consist of original screen printings in the sizes 50×50 and 60x60cm, which will sell for around €150.


Industrial Action Intensifies at Holland Casino’s as Unions Reject “Final Offer”

Last week, Holland Casino made a “final offer” for a new collective bargaining agreement, containing “significant concessions.”

Unions, however, declined to accept the offer. Strikes are therefore continuing, as employees are saying that they want to see some compensation for years of belt-tightening and cutbacks.

Yesterday, Holland Casino Amsterdam was forced to close completely, as not enough employees were available to guarantee visitors’ safety.

In more upbeat news, on Monday night, Holland Casino Amsterdam welcomed its 25 millionth visitor. The lucky visitor received €5,000 in store credit at the local Bijenkorf department store.


Other News

Over 2.8 million people participated in Saturday’s special draw of the Dutch State Lottery, which has been organized to compensate past participants for the operator’s misleading advertising practices. Participants in the special draw must waive their claims to any further compensation.


Despite the recent strengthening of payment blocking measures in Norway, operators report little to no impact on their business.


Between October 2015 and September 2016, the remote sector made up 32% of the overall UK gambling market and created £4.5bn (€5.2bn) in total gross gambling yield (GGY), figures of the UK Gambling Commission show.


France’s regulated online gambling market set a new sports betting record in the first quarter of 2017, while poker reported a rare revenue increase, according to figures released Wednesday by French gaming regulator ARJEL.


888 Holdings has become the latest operator to exit the Polish market.


UK-listed online gambling operator Paddy Power Betfair is closing its Gibraltar office and surrendering its local online gaming license. A company spokesperson said all Gibraltar staffers would be offered relocation opportunities in London and Dublin. The office closure is reportedly not a result of the UK Brexit vote.


A deal to share poker liquidity across four European markets (France, Italy, Spain, Portugal) is expected to be signed in June, according to the French gambling regulator ARJEL.


Yesterday, the 48th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) kicked off in Las Vegas.


Vancouver-based B2B daily fantasy sports platform provider Global Daily Fantasy Sports Inc. (GDFSI) has struck a deal to acquire European DFS operator Mondogoal.


Fortuna has sold its 98.4% stake in its Czech-facing instant lottery business to Czech lottery operator Sazka.