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Dutch election outcome: stable majority government far away ...and more!

New gambling levy-funded prevention projects announced

ZonMw, a healthcare research body, which has been tasked by the Netherlands Gambling Authority to oversee the national gambling addiction prevention program, has announced the funding of six new research projects.


The projects will be funded by a levy that is being collected from operators of “high-risk” gambling products.


The research projects will investigate, among other things, treatment options, gambling advertising exposure, the assessment of gambling-related harm, and new methods for identifying and supporting at-risk gamblers.


Dutch court upholds penalty payment against Holland Casino over advertising violations

The District Court of The Hague has upheld a conditional penalty payment issued by the Netherlands Gambling Authority against Holland Casino over advertising violations.


The dispute involved hyperlinks leading to webpages advertising the operator's land-based offerings. These hyperlinks were present on the website where Holland Casino offers its online gambling products.


According to the regulator, this amounted to unpermitted advertising, a conclusion supported by the court's ruling.


Curaçao-licensed casinos lose player claim suits

The Foundation for the Representation of Victims of Online Gaming (‘SBGOK’) has recently won several suits involving player claims against Curaçao-licensed online casinos. The claims were adjudicated by a local, Curaçao-based court.


In case the individual casinos refuse to pay, the master license holders can be held financially responsible.


Entain to pay £585m fine in relation to former Turkish business activities

Entain has reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the UK Crown Prosecution Service over bribery allegations in relation to its historic activities in Turkey.


The agreement includes a financial penalty plus disgorgement of profits totaling £585m.


Chairman of Entain, Barry Gibson, said: "This legacy matter concerns a business which was sold by a former management team six years ago. The Group has changed immeasurably since these events took place, and the DPA process has provided a reminder of the stark differences between the GVC of yesterday and the Entain of today.”


In related news, Goldman Sachs has downgraded Entain to sell from buy amid concerns over business growth, particularly within its online division.


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.

Dutch election outcome: stable majority government far away

With almost 25% of the vote and 37 (out of 150) seats, Geert Wilders’ far-right PVV ended up as the big winner of last week's Dutch Lower House elections, ahead of the center-left PvdA/GL (25 seats), center-right VVD (24 seats), and newcomer NSC (20 seats).


Despite losing 10 seats, the VVD's support will remain indispensable for bringing about any viable government, regardless of whether the Netherlands will end up with a majority or minority government coalition. Following the elections, the VVD leadership quickly indicated, however, that it would not enter a government and would – at most – provide support to a minority center-right government coalition.


With NSC's support for a PVV-led government currently uncertain (although certainly not impossible), it remains unclear whether PVV will be able to form a government at all. Still, a government that will be led by the center-left runners-up currently appears even more unlikely as this, too, would require support from VVD.


Regardless, PVV will certainly lack enough capable people to fill up its share of available government posts and any PVV-led government is likely to quickly end up in chaos – something that would likely reposition VVD as the only viable, truly right-wing party that could actually get things done.


Although stability appears far away, the outcome for the Netherlands’ gambling sector could certainly have been worse. As opposed to other groups, PVV is not hostile to gambling and, as indicated above, any government would depend on support of the gambling industry's traditional ally VVD.


Finally, the two groups that have been the biggest thorns in the side of the industry, CU and SP, both lost a significant percentage of their seats. On top of that, one of the gambling industry's most notable adversaries, Michiel van Nispen (SP), is currently projected to lose his seat.


Even so, it is not inconceivable that NSC, which indicated that it would like to ban online gambling altogether, could end up as an even more formidable opponent to regulated gambling than the combination of CU and SP.


Other news

Erasmus University researcher Marilisa Boffo discusses her research into gambling addiction and her data exchange cooperation with Holland Casino and Playtech.


One in 40 Britons is a problem gambler according to new research published by the Gambling Commission following an overhaul of its data gathering processes.


Sweden’s National Audit Office has launched an audit of Spelinspektionen (SGA) to investigate whether the SGA's supervision of the market is effective amidst concerns over black market growth.


Slovenian tennis official Marko Ducman has been suspended for 10 years and six months by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) due to multiple breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).

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