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Dutch government publishes updated provisional remote gaming regulations

Updated: Jan 22, 2021

The Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security has published a draft General Administrative Order (AMvB) containing further details regarding the practical implementation of the country’s Remote Gaming Act.

The current document incorporates feedback received during the earlier public consultation on the Remote Gaming Act’s secondary legislation, as well as several motions that were adopted by the Lower House in December of last year.

Secondary legislation: an ongoing process

After the Dutch Senate approved the Remote Gaming Bill in February 2019, the Ministry of Justice and Security started finalizing the secondary legislation that interprets and implements the primary legislation approved by Parliament.

Following a public consultation, a General Consultation on gambling policy in the Dutch Lower House, and several adopted Lower House motions, the Ministry of Justice and Security has now published a draft version of its final General Administrative Order.

This draft version has now been submitted for approval to both houses of Parliament. Following Parliament’s approval, the General Administrative Order will also be submitted to the Council of State, which will advise the government on the legal implications of the proposed regulations.

If, as is all but certain, the General Administrative Order passes these hurdles, the Order will be further developed into a Ministerial Decree and, ultimately, specific licensing conditions.

In addition to the General Administrative Order, the Ministry also sent letters to both houses of Parliament outlining a limited number of further changes to earlier regulatory proposals.

A longer cooling-off period

The most notable change compared to previous proposals is that the cooling-off period will be extended another six months. This means operators may not apply for a Dutch remote license if they have actively targeted the Dutch market at any time in the 30 months prior to the date of their license application.

Assuming the current schedule holds, the Netherlands Gambling Authority will start processing license applications from January 1, 2021. It will take approximately six months to process an application. In other words, operators who have targeted the Dutch market after July 1, 2017 will not be immediately able to enter the regulated Dutch market when it opens.

New advertising restrictions

As we reported earlier, the broadcast of gambling ads will be prohibited between 06:00 and 21:00, with the exception of lottery advertising which will be allowed from 19:00.

In order to protect minors, role models and influencers under 25 may not be featured in gambling advertising.

No cross-selling

Apart from practice games, operators may not advertise or offer products or services other than online gambling services on their online portals. This prohibition includes land-based gambling services.

A betting blacklist

In addition to previously proposed sports integrity measures, the Minister for Legal Protection will draw up a list of prohibited bets following the advice of NOC*NSF, the overall coordinating Dutch sports organization.

Betting operators will also inform both organizer and sports association of all bets they offer on events that fall under the latter’s responsibilities.

Customer service

Customer service must be available free of charge at any time an operator offers its services.

Customer service agents must be able to communicate in Dutch.

All disputes will be subject to Dutch law. Arbitration panels (other than Dutch law courts) will not be allowed.

Compliance costs

Compliance costs for online operators will be significant and are estimated to be approximately €800,000 up front, with another €800,000 in annual structural costs.

Land-based operators of amusement arcades will face an initial cost of €80,000 to €140,000, with an annual structural cost of around €240,000.

Technical requirements & customer ID

Last but not least, the draft General Administrative Order also contains several paragraphs outlining various technical and customer ID verification requirements.

Player identity must be confirmed before registration can be finalized. Contrary to previous proposals, temporary player accounts are no longer allowed.

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