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Dutch Lower House adopts motion calling on government to ban online slots ...and more!

Dutch court orders unlicensed operators to repay player losses

The District Court of Overijssel found in two separate cases (against bwin and PokerStars) that the contracts between players and said operators are void because these operators were not licensed to operate in the Netherlands.

As a result, both bwin and PokerStars are ordered to reimburse the claimants for their losses.

The ruling – that contracts between players and unlicensed operators are void – will likely lead to a deluge of similar claims, even though enforcement of such rulings may be difficult. Last year, Malta enacted a bill (Bill 55) specifically designed to protect locally licensed operators against claims such as these.

Netherlands Gambling Authority's new RG policy rules to enter into force June 3

The Netherlands Gambling Authority’s new responsible gaming policy rules will enter into force from June 3 instead of the previously announced date of May 1.

An exception will be made for those rules that require “major IT adjustments” from operators. Those rules will enter into force on a later, yet to be announced date.

Dutch gambling tax expected to surpass €1bn mark in 2024

The Dutch government revealed in its Spring Memorandum that it expects to collect €1,023m in gambling taxes in 2024, €65m more than estimated in last year's Autumn Memorandum.

If current trends continue, the government expects to collect more than €1,300m in gambling taxes in 2029.

Netherlands Gambling Authority issues conditional penalty payment to

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has issued a conditional penalty payment of up to €840,000 to Curaçao-based Casbit Group, which operates the website.

According to the Dutch regulator, the website continues to accept registrations from Dutch players even though its owner lacks a Dutch remote gambling license.

ICE 2024 surpassed previous attendance record, welcomed over 45,000 visitors

With over 45,000 visitors, 14,000+ operators, and 200+ regulators, ICE 2024 surpassed all previous editions of the trade show to date.

A detailed comparison can be found in the organizers’ post-show event magazine.

New behavior-based problem gambling screen available

Researchers Michael Auer, Neven Ricijas, Valentina Kranzelic, and Mark D. Griffiths have jointly developed a new problem gambling screening tool based on gambling behavior rather than on negative consequences of gambling.

Their twelve-item Online Problem Gambling Behavior Index (OPGBI) correlated significantly with the widely accepted Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI). Three factors measured in the OPGBI (gambling behavior, limit setting, communication with operator) were particularly predictive of gambling-related harm.

The fact that pure gambling behavior related items explained over 50% of the PGSI score strengthens the idea that player tracking could be an important approach in identifying problem gambling.

Final reminder: Gaming in Holland to co-host regulatory sessions at 2024 Casino Operations Summit

On Tuesday, April 23, 2024, Gaming in Holland will be co-hosting several regulatory-themed sessions at the upcoming Casino Operations Summit in Amsterdam.

In these sessions, we will take a deeper look at the current state of the Dutch land-based market and identify areas in particular need of regulatory modernization.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • René Jansen, Chair, Netherlands Gambling Authority

  • Jason Frost, President, Euromat

  • Petra de Ruiter, CEO, Holland Casino

  • Eric Olders, CEO, JVH gaming & entertainment group

  • Henry Meijdam, Chair, VAN Kansspelen

  • Einar Waegemaekers, Managing Partner, Reac

  • Alan Littler, Gaming Lawyer, Kalff Katz & Franssen

The Gaming in Holland sessions are exclusively available to representatives of Netherlands-licensed operators or their suppliers. If you would like to attend, please register for the 2024 Casino Operations Summit.

GiH partners and sponsors have free access to this part of the Casino Operations Summit's program. Please email Lucien Wijsman at for more details.

Upcoming events

  • The following event(s) may be of interest to the GiH community.The 2024 Casino Operations Summit, which focuses on land-based casino operations, will take place April 23-25 in Amsterdam.

  • The 2024 Gaming in Spain Conference returns to Madrid on May 6, 2024.

  • Dutch game supplier Eurocoin Gaming will hold open house on May 15-16 in Waalwijk. Trade association VAN Kansspelen will hold its spring General Members’ Meeting on May 16 at the same location.

  • The 2024 Gaming in Holland Conference, which is scheduled for June 6, 2024, will feature Netherlands Gambling Authority Chair, René Jansen and Kindred CEO, Nils Andén as conference keynote speakers.

  • The 14th European Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy Issues, organized by the European Association for the Study of Gambling (EASG), will be held September 10-13, 2024, in Rome, Italy.

  • The 2024 Gaming in Germany Conference returns to Berlin on November 5, 2024. Save the date!

Dutch Lower House adopts motion calling on government to ban online slots

On Tuesday, narrow majorities in the Dutch Lower House voted in favor of motions that call on the government to ban “high-risk online games of chance,” i.e., online slots, as well as all online gambling advertising.

Several other gambling-related motions were adopted as well, including a motion calling on the government to make it an official policy goal to reduce the number of online gamblers in the Netherlands, which – considering society's increasing digitization – appears quixotic at best.

As to the proposed bans on online slots and all online gambling advertising, these directly contradict existing primary legislation – which would thus almost certainly require other primary legislation (rather than unitary government action) to undo.

Asked to comment, Frank Tolboom, Partner at law firm Kalff Katz & Franssen said:

“The proposed measures require changes in existing legislation. This is not                       something that can happen overnight. Apart from issues related to market channelization, legally speaking, the appropriateness and proportionality of the proposed measures must be substantiated. This requires further study.

“Additionally, the proposed measures raise questions related to horizontal consistency. A Dutch court recently found that the Dutch gambling market is not regulated consistently across all submarkets. Implementing these measures can only further impinge on this principle.

Peter-Paul de Goeij, Managing Director of trade association NOGA, added:

“It is our firm belief that the proposed measures, including the ban on online gambling advertising and the ban on high-risk games of chance, cannot be introduced through lower regulation, but only through formal legislation. However, past experience with regulatory adjustments offers little confidence of a good outcome.

“The motions are undoubtedly well-intentioned but lack a solid foundation in facts and figures. Moreover, current data do not support the need for further restrictions; on the contrary, such motions threaten to drive online gamblers back to illegal platforms, with disastrous consequences for consumer protection. The illegal market is certainly ready to welcome these players back. The responsibility for these negative developments will lie with the House of Representatives.

Björn Fuchs, Board Member of trade association VNLOK, commented on LinkedIn.

Illustrative of the quality of the Lower House's recent gambling-related decisions is another motion adopted on Tuesday which, not exactly for the first time, calls on the government to take “severe” measures against illegal online gambling operators without giving any thought whatsoever to what this should entail and how this should be done.

Although it is hard to make predictions – especially now that the Lower House has seemingly abandoned the principle of good governance, at least in gambling-related matters – we think that Franc Weerwind, the responsible minister of the current caretaker government, will, for now, set aside these motions with the argument that new primary legislation will be required and that such legislation should be left to the next government.

On that note, negotiations to form a new government, following last year's November elections, are not exactly progressing smoothly.

Below is an overview of other events and developments expected in the rest of the year.

The 2024 gambling policy agenda

Keep an eye out for the dates and events listed below.

  • Second half of April – Government to send letter on match-fixing and match-fixing prevention.

  • Second half of May – Government to send progress report on cross-operator deposit limits, proposed steps against Malta's Bill 55, and potential support from banks/the Office for Credit Registration (BKR) to help protect players.

  • Second half of May – Government to send letter outlining next steps following recent court ruling questioning the legal tenability of the Netherlands’ remaining land-based monopolies (Lotton, instant lotteries, and land-based sports betting).

  • June 3 – Entry into force of (most of) the Netherlands Gambling Authority's new player protection rules.

  • Q3/Q4 2024 – Parliamentary evaluation of Remote Gambling Act.

  • Q4 2024 – Entry into force of the Ministry of Justice and Security's new player protection rules.

  • 2025(?) – Likely introduction of cross-operator deposit limits.


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