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Remote Gambling Bill in the Netherlands

The Netherlands legal implementation of remote games of chance is progressing slowly. Especially for foreign providers of gambling games, business opportunities are on the horizon in the Netherlands now that the current market is dominated mainly by Dutch providers and the government considers competition in the current market to be desirable.

Dutch License online betting netherlands

Dutch licenses online betting under construction

In 2016, The Dutch House of Representatives adopted the bill on remote gambling. This legislation is currently pending in the Dutch Senate. The Netherlands Gaming Authority is preparing for the adoption of the Remote Gambling Act that will regulate online gambling In the Netherlands and provide a basis for the creation of a gambling licensing system, allowing Dutch players to take part in online gambling offerings in a safe and reliable environment.

Dutch gaming licensing slowly progressing

In the coalition agreement called “trust in the future”, the Dutch cabinet has subsequently included agreements that further strengthen the policy on online gambling. The following agreements are included:

  • When granting licenses for remote gambling, the license condition will be that the provider must in any way also be established in the Netherlands;
  • Attention will be paid to reducing gambling addiction when implementing the policy on gambling games, and;
  • Does the existing situation concerning the possibilities for the donation to sports and charities not be affected?

The Minister for Legal Protection announced this on behalf of the government halfway June 2018. Now that this part of the coalition agreement has been implemented, the legislative process can, according to the Minister, be resumed vigorously. It is therefore possible that the Senate will soon agree with the bill by means of the tightened Bill for Remote Gambling.

Netherlands registered office for gaming provider

According to the current jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union, it has been decided that providers without a branch within the EU a provider can only get a license if they have a branch in the Netherlands. As a foreign provider you will therefore have to set up a separate entity and establish it in the Netherlands. In addition, the presence in the Netherlands of a representative in the field of addiction prevention is required.

Prevention of gambling addiction

The government wants to pay attention to reducing and prevention of gambling addiction. The proposed measures are based on the so-called ‘stepped intervention model’. This means that the license holder provides the player with appropriate information and gives the player insight into his playing behavior. If a player exhibits risky gaming behavior, an appropriate intervention is carried out, such as offering a self-test or a personal meeting in which the player is redirected to professional help. As a last resort, the ‘Central Register Exclusion of Games of Chance’ will be introduced. Players who exhibit problematic gaming behavior or are addicted can be registered voluntarily or involuntarily in CRUKS.

The above obligations inevitably entail that the future provider of remote games of chance must actively collect data from there players. For the provider, therefore, a major challenge lies ahead in the careful processing of the extremely sensitive personal data of its players in line with the recently introduced European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Marketing restrictions on gaming

The current government believes it is important that new games of chance and the accompanying marketing should  not have a negative effect on vulnerable groups. It is therefore required that games of chance products be subject to a risk analysis for the prevention of addiction before they are offered. This also includes the effects on consumers of the intended recruitment and advertising activities for these products.

Betting rules for charity and sports

Finally, measures have been drawn up about charities and sports in the context of gambling. For example, to stimulate market developments, the government is reducing the compulsory payment for charities from 50% to 40%. The minister has indicated that charity organizations are supporting the new Remote Gaming Act. That’s a positive element because in the past these charities organizations were lobbying mostly against the new legislation. Hopefully, the new development will lead to a dynamic implementation of the new legislation.

Are you an international provider/operator of gambling and betting services? If you would like to know more about the latest developments regarding the implementation of the new bill on Remote Gambling, do not hesitate to contact Mark van Weeren on gaming licenses  in the Netherlands.

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