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Council of State backs online operators’ objections to totalizator licensing procedure

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

Dutch casinos to reopen today

We are very happy to note that, after being closed for almost four months due to the Covid-19 lockdown, Dutch land-based casinos will finally be allowed to reopen today.

Both Holland Casino and land-based amusement arcades have implemented extensive protocols to guarantee the safety of both visitors and employees.

Of course, Gaming in Holland is delighted with this very welcome news for our industry partners. Let us all remember what is important in these trying times: Work Safe, Play Safe!

Netherlands Gambling Authority: age limits effective, but enforcement sometimes falls short

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has released the results of a consumer survey that was conducted in 2019 among minors and young adults. The survey shows 11% of 16-17-year-olds “occasionally” played scratch cards, 8% played land-based slot machines, 7% participated in lotteries, and 5% bet on sports. Gambling participation rates among minors appear stable.

The regulator also found a significant, one-time increase in gambling participation rates once consumers reach legal adulthood. Such a one-time increase in participation rates was not observed among players of e.g. social casino games, leading the researchers to conclude that age limits are generally an effective tool to prevent minors from engaging in gambling.

The fact that some minors still manage to gamble must therefore be ascribed to failings in the mandatory age verification checks, the report finds.

Upcoming events

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

Due to current events, most events that were to take place before the summer have been postponed. However, the following events are still on track to take place later in the year.

  • Registration for the 2020 Gaming in Holland Conference, which will take place September 22 in Amsterdam, is now open.Netherlands Gambling Authority chairman René Jansen has agreed to be the conference’s keynote speaker. Learn of the latest developments before the Dutch regulated online market opens in 2021.While you are staying in Amsterdam, don’t miss iGB Live, September 22-25. One city, one trip, two events!

  • The Gaming in Germany Conference has now been scheduled to take place on October 19, 2020 in Berlin – one day prior to iGB Berlin 2020. More details to follow soon. Save the date!

  • Get ready for the 2020 Gaming in Spain Conference at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid. More details to follow soon!

  • Betting on Sports America, the largest dedicated sports betting trade show in the world, returns to Meadowlands, New Jersey from 1 – 3 December.

  • The World Gaming Executive Summit will return to Barcelona from 7 – 9 December. Key themes on the agenda include AI, the future of land-based gaming, CSR, sustainable marketing, regulation updates, fantasy sports, and emerging marketing opportunities.

Council of State backs online operators’ objections to totalizator licensing procedure

The Dutch Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, has upheld an appeal submitted by Betfair and Unibet which claims that the Netherlands Gambling Authority prematurely dismissed their objections against the allocation of the country’s single tote betting license to former and current de facto monopolist ZEbetting.

Although ZEbetting had won the open tender for the Dutch tote betting license, the tender conditions were drawn up in such a way as to virtually guarantee that ZEbetting would be granted the license, the claimants argued.

On its part, the Netherlands Gambling Authority had claimed that Betfair and Unibet lacked standing to challenge the outcome of the tender as they had failed to participate in the tender process.

The Council of State has now found that, despite their refusal to participate in the tender process, both Betfair and Unibet have standing to challenge the regulator’s ruling, as their complaints focused on the fairness of the tender process itself rather than its ultimate outcome.

Due to this finding, the Council of State ordered the Netherlands Gambling Authority to re-evaluate the appellants’ complaints on substantive grounds.

Other news

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has ended the temporary leniency it extended to non-profit online bingo operators during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Trade publication Marketing Tribune interviews Arno de Jong, CMO of Nederlandse Loterij.

Peter-Paul de Goeij, Managing Director of Dutch online gambling trade organization Speel Verantwoord, discusses the upcoming re-regulation in the Netherlands with Pierre Lindh of iGaming NEXT.

Charity lottery and new market entrant Fairshare Nederland has now contributed €5m to charities and good causes.

The Hamburg Interior Agency has filed criminal charges against Tipico, GVC, and Bet3000 for illegally offering online casino products in Germany.

Members of the FDP have questioned the government of Lower Saxony on payment blocking orders, suggesting the orders were not justified given the imminent liberalization of the German online gambling market.

Gambling participation is on the decline in France, but the ranks of problem gamblers is on the rise, a new report by government agency Observatoire des jeux (ODJ) found.

Pan-European lottery and sports betting giant Sazka Group has completed its acquisition of a 17.19% stake in Casinos Austria previously held by Novomatic Group.

William Hill will merge its UK online and retail divisions from September 2020.

In a damning report, the UK government’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) claims the UK Gambling Commission and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have an “unacceptably weak understanding” of the impact gambling harms have on UK players.

Gambling revenue in Switzerland in 2019 came to just over CHF1bn (€939.0m), according to the latest annual report from the Inter-Cantonal Lotteries and Betting Commission (Comlot).

Norway’s government is proposing to streamline the country’s gambling laws while sending a message that the future of the two state-run gambling monopolies is not up for debate.

Nevada gaming revenue fell 99.4% year-on-year to just $5.8m in May, though this total represented an improvement on April’s $3.6m total.

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