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CJEU orders European Commission to launch state aid investigation into Dutch lottery licensing

Netherlands Gambling Authority issues compliance order to Holland Casino

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has ordered Holland Casino to urgently address issues with its control database. The regulator said that it had notified Holland Casino as early as December 2021 that its control database (CDB) did not meet the standards demanded by law.


In June of this year, the Dutch regulator finally ordered Holland Casino to rectify all issues with its CDB within six weeks. Following unsuccessful interim injunction proceedings by Holland Casino (which suspended the regulator's order), the deadline was moved to December 28.


Holland Casino disputes the regulator's findings and maintains that its CDB was already fully compliant as of February 2023.


Failure to comply with the order in a timely fashion could result in conditional penalty payments, fines, or even the suspension of Holland Casino's remote gaming license, the Gambling Authority said.


Netherlands Gambling Authority warns operator over betting violations

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has issued an official warning to an unnamed operator over betting violations. According to the regulator, the operator offered horseracing betting without the appropriate license.


After the regulator contacted the operator, the unlicensed betting offers were removed within 40 minutes. A follow-up investigation revealed that no players had made use of the unlicensed betting offers and that the illegal bets had generated no revenue for the operator.


Because of these extenuating circumstances, the regulator issued no additional penalties despite the seriousness of the violation.


Low-regulation jurisdictions seek to poach operators from Curaçao

The looming introduction of stricter online gambling regulations by Curaçao's government has led to attempts by several low-regulation jurisdictions to entice online gambling operators currently based on Curaçao to relocate to cheaper and less regulated destinations. These jurisdictions reportedly include Anjouan (an autonomous part of the Comoro Islands), the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory (a Canadian First Nations reserve), Costa Rica, and the Isle of Man.


Curaçao's Minister of Finance also confirmed that the licenses of online casinos that are available in the Netherlands or the US will be revoked.


TOMORROW | Post-election networking drinks with special guest Fred Teeven

With the Dutch parliamentary elections taking place today, join us tomorrow, Thursday, November 23, from 17:30 until 19:30 to discuss the election outcome.


With several political parties eager to further restrict the regulated gambling market and an (as of yet) uncertain election outcome, there will be plenty to discuss.


The informal gathering will feature Fred Teeven, former state secretary and architect of the Dutch online gambling legislation, as our special guest.


The meet-up will take place in Amsterdam.


If you would like to attend this event, please RSVP.


Upcoming events

The following event(s) may be of interest to the GiH community.

  • Registrations for ICE and ICE VOX 2024 are now open! Join 45,000 industry peers and attend the industry’s largest B2B event between February 6-8 in London.

  • IGB Affiliate 2024 takes place February 6-9 alongside ICE London and aims to connect affiliates with iGaming operator affiliate programs and tech vendors.

  • Kindred's annual Sustainable Gambling Conference will be held March 20, 2024, at the Kia Oval in London.

  • The 2024 Casino Operations Summit, which focuses on land-based casino operations, will take place April 23-25 in Amsterdam.


CJEU orders European Commission to launch state aid investigation into Dutch lottery licensing

Following a legal challenge by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ordered the European Commission – despite its initial refusal – to launch a state aid investigation into the automatic renewal of Dutch lottery licenses in 2016.


Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA, commented:


“The facts and data of this case raised serious doubts about the compliance of the Dutch licensing procedure with EU law, which should have warranted the Commission to open a formal state aid investigation to address those doubts. We are confident the Commission will now carry out a thorough investigation, and we are ready to provide any necessary information and data.


It is crucial for the Commission to uphold EU law consistently across all sectors, without fear or favor, including the gambling sector. The selective enforcement of EU law undermines the Commission’s institutional role as the guardian of the Treaties.”


As the Netherlands currently has an open licensing system for private lotteries, it is not clear what the consequences will be if the EC were to find against the Dutch state.


Other news

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has shut down an illegal bingo operation in Dordrecht.


Bjorn Fuchs has joined the advisory board of KVA, the quality mark for responsible affiliates.


Holland Casino has launched a new website, hc.nl, specifically dedicated to its land-based offering.


Payment service provider Aircash has joined the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).


A new study from the University of Leipzig that was commissioned by German trade associations DOCV and DSWV has found that close to half of all online gambling in Germany still takes place with unlicensed operators.


However, Germany's gambling regulator, GGLdisputes the study's findings and maintains that only 2-4% of the total gambling market is offshore.

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