It was a long battle for casino industry in the Dutch land which took almost two long years of parliamentary debate and finally the Dutch Lower House pushed through the ‘Netherlands Online Gambling Bill’ seeking to regulate and license industry services. It was in May 2013 that the Dutch government proposed few changes to its online gaming laws that can open up the market to foreign operators.
With this bill being passed by the Dutch Lower House now The Netherlands could launch its regulated online gambling market by Q3 2017 which is good news for the casino and the gambling industry. On this Thursday the Lower House of the Dutch parliament approved the country’s Remote Gaming Bill by a wide majority. Currently, the Senate is on summer break but it is expected that the bill will be passed without too much fuss once the Senate reconvene this autumn.
The legislation has imposed a 29% tax on both online and land based gambling revenue and a further 1.5% to fund the activities of the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) regulatory body and another 0.5% to fund problem gambling programs.
This bill underwent a furious spate of amending earlier this week which included prohibiting country’s land-based gambling operators from using their current player databases to market their online sites. This move would ensure that the existing gambling operators won’t have an unfair advantage over the new entrants. In addition, this international online gambling operator will not be forced to have any kind of land-based casino presence within Netherlands. All the Dutch licensed gambling operators will have to contribute to a national problem gambling fund.
This bill also has many other advertising restrictions which include limits on marketing sites via non-pay TV channels and promoting in-play wagers during live sports broadcasts. Once the bill is presented to the Senate it may likely to have few more changes and then it will get a final shape.
Jasper Hoekert, co-founder of Revenue Engineers, a full-service gaming consultancy based in the Netherlands, welcomed the bill stating;
“We are absolutely delighted to see the Dutch Remote Gaming Bill finally pass through parliament.
“While there are some aspects of the legislation which are not ideal, this is still a very workable framework and I am confident that the Netherlands will quickly emerge as one of Europe’s most important gaming jurisdictions.