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Dutch Lower House Adopts Amendments ahead of Vote on Remote Gaming Bill ...and More!

Dutch Lower House Adopts Amendments ahead of Vote on Remote Gaming Bill

The Dutch Lower House adopted a large number of amendments and (formally) non-binding motions on the country's long-awaited remote gaming bill, ahead of tomorrow's vote on the bill itself.

For those who have been following our earlier coverage, there were no big surprises. Again, the main takeaway of yesterday's proceedings is that the amended bill should easily pass both the Lower House and Senate, the latter of which is expected to vote on the draft law sometime during the fall.

Still, there were a few noteworthy votes. The land-based sector, for instance, will face additional costs on account of the rejection of an amendment that would remove the obligation to erect physical entry and player identification barriers and the adoption of an amendment that would obligate land-based operators (with the exception of lotteries) to contribute to a problem gambling fund.

Existing operators (e.g., land-based casinos and lotteries) will not be allowed to use their player database to promote their new online offering.

Several motions were adopted that will introduce additional advertising restrictions.

According to Speel Verantwoord, the Dutch trade association of online operators, the adopted amendments will create a number of additional burdens, in particular for smaller businesses. The number of operators that will eventually be able to qualify for a license will therefore be fifty at most, as opposed to the hundreds that expressed interest at an earlier stage.

Allan Littler, gaming lawyer at Kalff Katz & Franssen commented: “How attractive and successful the regime proves to be depends upon secondary legislation, of which we will get a clearer picture in the autumn when it is released for public consultation.”

“Fortunately, for the agility of the regulatory process, amendments which sought to give parliament a say in secondary legislation, which will put the meat on the bones of the legislative framework, were not adopted,” Littler added.

Frits Huffnagel, president of VAN, the Dutch association of land-based gaming arcade operators, was rather less sanguine and expressed his dismay with the outcome of yesterday's vote. “We are very disappointed in a majority of the Lower House. This outcome is neither in the best interest of the players or of our sector,” he said.

Holland Casino CEO Discusses Challenges of Entering a Regulated Dutch Online Market

Holland Casino CEO Erwin van Lambaart said in a recent radio interview that he was “grateful” that the Dutch Lower House was finally making haste with the remote gaming bill.

Van Lambaart also discussed the challenges of acquiring a strong market position vis-à-vis large international operators in the regulated Dutch online market.

“Remote Gaming Will Soon Overtake Land-based Gaming in the UK”

Last week, the UK Gambling Commission released its latest figures on various forms of gambling in the UK.

According to gaming consultants Regulus Partners, “the remote tipping point has now been reached:”

“On an annualised basis (remote data is only 11 months), the GB commercial gambling sector YT September 2015 was worth £9.24bn (ex lottery), with remote taking a 43% share (£3.97bn). Given that this data is already over nine months old, and factoring in current trends, it is now reasonable to assume that remote gambling will overtake land-based gambling in revenue terms within the next c. 18 months. This has significant implications for the forward shape of the sector and for policy making.”

Betsson Announces Lower-than-Expected Earnings in Q2

Swedish operator Betsson has warned that lower sportsbook revenue and unfavorable exchange rate fluctuations are set to lead to lower-than-expected revenue and earnings for the second quarter of the year.

In the past six months, the company already lost sixty percent of its value, while, according to some commentators, the operator's chances of acquiring a Swedish license once that market opens have taken a hit on account of its premature cooperation with the Swedish Hockey League.

11th European Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy Issues Announces Preliminary Program

The 11th European Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy Issues, which is set to take place on September 13-16, 2016, in Lisbon, has announced its preliminary program.

The conference will feature two pre-conference workshops, four plenary sessions, four symposia, one masterclass, 29 parallel sessions, and over 130 presentations.

Other News

The Netherlands Gaming Authority once more opens its annual thesis competition for students in higher education.

The Gibraltar Minister of Financial Services and Gaming is doing its best to allay fears over the impact of Brexit on the country’s gambling market

Deutsche Telekom has pulled the plug on its online sports betting platform.

Amaya-owned PokerStars and Full Tilt have withdrawn from the Slovenian market.

German operator Tipico has launched a new prepaid deposit app.

The New York Times has an interesting feature on “advantage players,” punters who seek (and find) legal edges with which to beat the house.

Legal online gambling may come to and end in the Philippines.

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