Following last week's opening half of the plenary debate in the Dutch Lower House on the country's proposed remote gaming bill, the second part of the debate concluded today.
Next, the bill will move forward to a vote, which has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 5.
“In light of the parliamentary elections planned for March 2017, and the resulting narrow legislative time frame, it would be extremely helpful if the Lower House indeed manages to vote on the bill as early as next week,” gaming lawyer Justin Franssen, Partner at Kalff Katz & Franssen, said.
No IP Blocking
Today's debate was mainly concerned with the various amendments to the bill that have been put forward in recent months and weeks. Perhaps most significantly, State Secretary of Security and Justice Klaas Dijkhoff said that the Ministry – and by extension coalition groups VVD and PvdA – would not object to removing DNS and IP blocking powers from the Netherlands Gaming Authority.
Opposition group D66 was thus given a major concession, which should normally guarantee sufficient support for the bill to pass the Senate.
More Advertising Restrictions?
Although coalition group PvdA is certain to support the bill, it could still choose to provide certain opposition amendments with a Lower House majority, thus introducing additional restrictions for operators, in particular with regard to advertising.
Conceivably, PvdA could likewise support an amendment that would directly involve Parliament each time an operator would want to introduce a new type of game.
Betting and Sponsorships
One additional restriction that will almost certainly be introduced is a prohibition for operators to sponsor individual athlethes (as opposed to teams, clubs, or leagues) in order to minimize the risk of match fixing.
Gaming Arcade Access
Last week we reported that an amendment by MP Jeroen van Wijngaarden (VVD), which would scrap a proposed obligation for land-based operators to erect physical entry and player identification barriers, enjoyed a surprising amount of support.
At least some of that backing now appears to have evaporated, making passage of this amendment rather doubtful.
Which Amendments Will Pass?
While it is far from certain which amendments will pass and which ones will be blocked, we have nonetheless ventured to make a prediction – which, of course, should be taken with a grain of salt:
Amendments which have been withdrawn/replaced: 9, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 24, 25, 32, 33, 37, 39.