Newsletter - Dutch Remote Gaming Act enters into force ...and more!

Dutch Remote Gaming Act enters into force

After many years of political haggling and repeated delays, the Dutch Remote Gaming Act finally enters into force today.


Starting today, prospective remote license holders will be able to submit their license applications to the Netherlands Gambling Authority. The regulated online market will officially open in six months: on October 1, 2021.


Trade association NOGA, representing the Netherlands-facing online industry, hailed the long-awaited regulation of online gambling in the country:


“NOGA is elated that the Remote Gaming Act is finally enacted on this auspicious day. We first and foremost congratulate the Dutch citizens, who finally receive the necessary protections to gamble safely online. We also commend the Ministry of Justice, the Netherlands Gambling Authority, as well as all other stakeholders who have worked hard to reach this milestone. Looking back, it has been a lengthy process, and, at times, it seemed that no progress was possible. NOGA and its members are now looking forward to making the opening of the regulated online market a resounding success. Soon, Dutch consumers will finally have ample choice in regulated and responsible online gambling offerings, while being protected by Dutch responsible gambling regulations. Speaking for NOGA and all its members, we intend to work closely together with all stakeholders, including incumbent operators. We count on everyone to put the interests of the consumer first.”


Eric van Vondelen, former General Secretary of the Netherlands Gaming Control Board (College van toezicht op de kansspelen), predecessor of the Netherlands Gambling Authority, was one of the few individuals who correctly predicted that the regulation of online gambling would take many years. In 2011, at the very first Gaming in Holland Conference, he told a (then) incredulous audience that the process would take at least several years. Asked to reflect on his accurate prediction, Van Vondelen said:


“It took way too much time, all in all, more than twenty years. Just think of all the tax revenue the Dutch state missed out on during that period, not to mention the glaring lack of player protection. Unfortunately, it's simply a fact that gambling is a very touchy topic in The Hague. This will not change for the foreseeable future. While a complete overhaul of the Dutch Gambling Act would be welcome, we'll be suck with muddling through, I'm afraid.”


In an interview with the national broadcaster, Netherlands Gambling Authority chairman, René Jansen explained why regulation of online gambling was urgently needed:


“It is 2021. The Internet is everywhere and does not stop at the border. Online gambling is now unregulated, no one supervises, it is hardly possible to control it through enforcement alone. We are finally making a move towards a safer environment.”


Dutch remote licensing portal launch delayed by technical fault

The Netherlands Gambling Authority's online portal to submit remote license applications did not open as intended this morning. Due to a technical fault, the portal will remain closed until at least the end of the day. The Dutch regulator announced it would post an update at 17:00 CET.


Despite this technical mishap, the Gambling Authority published additional information regarding the license application submission process.


In related news, the Netherlands Gambling Authority published an English-language version of its most recent vision document regarding the Dutch gambling market.


Dutch basketball shaken by credible match-fixing allegations

Four former players of Dutch top basketball side Aris from the town of Leeuwarden are suspected of deliberately throwing four games in the spring of 2019 at the behest of a South Korean gambling syndicate.


The case was originally investigated by ISR (Instituut Sportrechtspraak), a body that handles integrity investigations on behalf of sports associations. “There is a reasonable suspicion that match-fixing has taken place,” ISR board member Peter Vogelzang said.


The ISR's findings were confirmed by match-fixing analysts from international gambling data companies.


iGaming sector calls for “decisive action” to clean up Malta's reputation

IGEn, an association of Malta-based iGaming companies has called for “clear and decisive” action against senior officials and regulators found guilty of any crimes.


The association said that the reports of impropriety were having direct and indirect impacts on the gaming sector, which represents more than 13 per cent of Malta's GDP.


“These have resulted in higher costs, an increase in operational complexity, loss of business and substantial reputational damage,” the association said.


Specifically, former Malta Gaming Authority chairman Joseph Cuschieri had gone on holiday to Las Vegas with casino owner and murder suspect Yorgen Fenech, with Fenech footing the bill. Cuschieri's successor, Heathcliff Farrugia, faces criminal charges for having traded in influence with Fenech.


In more positive news, Malta’s proposed new anti-money laundering regime has recently received positive feedback from Moneyval, a Council of Europe anti-money laundering expert committee.


Upcoming events

Events

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

  • The third edition of CasinoBeats Summit will return to Malta from 13 – 15 July, 2021, as part of Summer iGaming Week organized in partnership with KPMG and Gaming Malta.

  • iGB Live and iGB Affiliate have also been moved to 28 September – 1 October, 2021, but will still take place in Amsterdam!

  • The 2021 Gaming in Holland Conference has been scheduled for 1 October, 2021 – the very day that the regulated Dutch online market finally opens. Netherlands Gambling Authority chairman René Jansen has agreed to deliver the keynote speech. Save the date!

  • SiGMA Europe has been rescheduled to 16 – 18 November, 2021.

  • The Betting on Sports America conference and expo has been scheduled for 30 November – 2 December, 2021 and will bring together all the major players in the fast-growing North American sports betting industry.

  • The World Gaming Executive Summit is returning live on 6 – 8 December, 2021 at the W Hotel, Barcelona.

  • ICE London and iGB Affiliate London have been postponed to 1 – 3 February, 2022.

Webinars and virtual events

  • The European Association for the Study of Gambling (EASG) has announced two new webinars. On April 15 at 11:00 CET, the EASG will present a webinar on match-fixing and integrity, followed on April 22 at 11:00 CET by a webinar on Covid-19 and problem gambling.

  • On April 15, casino trainer Arjan Korstjens will host a free online sample workshop to introduce his upcoming land-based casino marketing course.

  • Don't miss the upcoming Gaming in Germany webinar “Regulatory update & policy principles” on April 21, offering the latest news on the regulation of Germany's online gambling market.

Other news

A report from Sweden's State Treasury has found that 85% of gambling in the country during 2020 took place with operators licensed in Sweden, down from 90% in 2019.


Maris Catania, Global Head of Player Sustainability at Kindred Group, and Neil Banbury, UK General Manager of gambling addiction recovery institute All Bets Are Off discuss ethics and sustainability.


Spain’s national gambling regulator DGOJ has reported a 13.8% year-on-year increase in online gross gambling revenue (GGR) in 2020, despite a dip in sports betting revenue.


Alberto Garzón, Spain’s Minister of Consumer Affairs, has revealed his department’s intentions to undertake a wholesale review of the country’s gambling’s tax regime across all licensed verticals.


Spanish supplier R. Franco Digital has been handed a Critical Gaming Supply license from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).


New UK research has found that gambling warning labels are generally ineffective due to a deliberate lack of visibility.


Entain, formerly GVC Holdings, has announced a 28% year-on-year increase in online gaming revenue


A Flutter Entertainment petition to hold a rehearing of its $1.3bn historic damages case has been denied by the Kentucky Supreme Court.

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