Netherlands Gaming Authority Seeks Strict Separation between Gaming and Gambling

The Dutch regulator is considering several measures to ensure that gaming and gambling remain strictly separated, including limiting advertising opportunities for games containing gambling-related elements and introducing age requirements for such games.

The Gaming Authority seeks to discuss the feasibility of these and other measures with (social) gaming providers and gambling operators during a meeting in September, the exact date of which is yet to be determined, board member Joop Pot said in a speech delivered during industry event IGB Live.

Pot: “The best solutions always emerge from joint efforts. A multidisciplinary approach generates measures that are good for consumers, gaming providers, gambling operators, and supervisory authorities.”


Upcoming Events

The following upcoming events may be of interest to members of the GiH community.

  • The International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL) will be organizing their annual autumn conference in Prague, Czech Republic, 5-7 September 2018.
  • Eurocoin Gaming is inviting its customers to participate in a two-day co-creation workshop in order to design a new game concept for the Dutch market on September 12-13.
  • The preliminary program of the 12th EASG Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy Issues, which is scheduled to take place 11-14 September 2018, has now been published.
  • Betting on Sports Weekreturns to London in September. Over 2,000 delegates from across the world will make their way to the Betting on Sports Week to join the international betting and gaming trade conferences Betting on Sports 2018 and Betting on eSports 2018, held 18-21 September at Olympia London.
  • The 2018 edition of Blockchain Live will feature eight conference stages, including one focused on gaming and gambling. No less than 3,000 attendees are expected to gather in The Grand Hall, Olympia, London on September 26, 2018.
  • The 2018 Sustainable Gambling Conference, organized by Kindred Group, will take place in Stockholm on 16 October, 2018.
  • The Lisbon Affiliate Conference will take place on 17-20 October 2018 and is expected to bring together the key stakeholders in the iGaming affiliate industry.
  • Clarion Gaming has launched ICE Sports Betting USA, a two-day event to be held in New York on 27 and 28 November, 2018.


Industry Reacts to Ministry of Justice Reply to Senate Questions on Remote Gaming Bill 

Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker has, at long last, responded to the Senate’s second round of written questions on the Remote Gaming Bill.

According to Dekker, the Senate should now have sufficient information to finalize the written procedure concerning the Remote Gaming Bill, ahead of a plenary debate and final vote.

In the Minister’s lengthy response, two additional points stand out:

  1. Land-based sports betting and bingo, like their online counterparts, will in the future be subject to gaming duty, in order to avoid a charge of prohibited state aid (p. 45).
  2. Remote operators who are or have been offering games of chance to Dutch consumers without a license, will not be automatically excluded from obtaining a remote license once the market opens. However, operators that have been sanctioned by the Netherlands Gaming Authority will no longer be eligible for obtaining a license (p. 50ff).

Representatives of the gaming industry have welcomed this next step in bringing the Remote Gaming Bill closer to a Senate vote.

Bert Bakker, Senior Consultant at lobbying firm Meines Holla & Partners:

“The Ministry remains extremely consistent in its attitude that online gambling needs to be regulated rather than prohibited. The existing situation, in which many operators already serve a large number of Dutch players, who perceive themselves as engaging in a completely acceptable form of entertainment, is – understandably – treated as a given that cannot be rolled back.

Even more interesting is the fact that the answers have been sent to the Senate before the summer recess, which offers a strong indication that Minister Dekker no longer expects to encounter further obstacles in the upper chamber. Obviously, that is good news.”

Rutger-Jan Hebben, director of trade association Speel Verantwoord:

“We are happy that the answers are finally here. Combined with the Ministry’s letter of June 19 on the physical establishment requirement, all elements are now in place to conclude the debate on the Remote Gaming Bill with a plenary debate and vote in the Senate this autumn.

We are very much looking forward to the consultation on the secondary legislation. Only then will we be able to see what the regulated online market in the Netherlands will look like.”

Responsible gaming expert Pieter Remmers:

“Diversity is key in realizing a responsible offering of online games of chance. I call on the Senate to quickly say yes to ‘informed choice’ and ‘stepped care.’ The sooner the better.”

Dr Alan Littler, Gaming Lawyer at Kalff Katz & Franssen:

“Now that the Ministry has responded to the Senate’s second round of questions, let’s hope that after the summer recess the legislative process will move forward and substantial delays are avoided. We can only go so far with such written proceedings. Once again, the fairly vague answers only serve to whet the appetite of various stakeholders as we wait for the consultation process around the draft secondary legislation to get underway.”

Casino Reform Bill

In related news, Dekker also responded to the Senate’s questions on the Casino Reform Bill, which seeks to liberalize the land-based market.

Furthermore, the Minister informed the Lower House how the government intends to give effect to a number of motions regarding the Casino Reform Bill that were adopted by this body back in January.


Other News

The Netherlands Gaming Authority has received two reports of minors participating in sports betting during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.


Following a Freedom of Information Act (WOB) request made by Stichting Loterijverlies, the Ministry of Justice and Security released all correspondence related to the misleading advertising practices of the Dutch State Lottery (Staatsloterij) and subsequent legal claims.


The municipality of Heerlen has rejected appeals against the opening of a new casino in the local Van der Valk Hotel.


The application period for the Netherlands Gaming Authority’s annual student thesis awards has opened.


The Netherlands Gaming Authority has imposed a conditional penalty payment on a local restaurant and bar in the municipality of Yerseke for various gambling-related offenses.


Operators that do not apply quickly for Sweden’s gambling licenses could miss the opening of the market in January, the country’s regulator warns.


The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued an initial enforcement order to launch an investigation into the Stars Group’s acquisition of SkyBet.


The UK Gambling Commission has warned operators it could take further action if they continue to place “unfair obstacles” in the way of people withdrawing their money.


UK National Lottery operator Camelot is being tipped as the likely frontrunner to manage the privatized operations of French lottery and retail betting monopoly Française des Jeux (FDJ).


A number of leading lottery betting operators, including myLotto24, Multilotto, Legacy8, Lottoland and Lottogo, have joined forces to launch the European Lotto Betting Association (ELBA), a new trade body that will aim to ensure fair regulation of lottery betting products.


The Norwegian Gaming Authority (NGA) has reiterated its support for new regulations to limit the impact of unregulated gambling after a spike in advertising from offshore operators.


Poland’s government intends to force local internet service providers (ISPs) to report citizens’ attempts to access unauthorized online gambling sites.


William Hill has launched a new responsible gambling initiative “Nobody Harmed by Gambling.”


William Hill has signed exclusive deals with Jockey Club Racing (JCR), Go Racing Yorkshire and various independents to expand its on-course betting portfolio in the UK.


GVC has reported a 25% rise in online revenue for Q2 with growth driven by the World Cup and “good underlying momentum” in the business.


The Belorussian government has launched another attempt to legalize online gambling in the country.


Daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings has reached a sports betting licensing agreement with the del Lago Resort & Casino in New York.


Chinese authorities have broken up a $1.5bn illegal cryptocurrency gambling operation.