Bill on remote gambling adopted

The House of Representatives today agreed to the plan of State Secretary Dijkhoff (Security and Justice) to modernise gaming policy. If the Senate also agrees to the plan, it will be possible in the Netherlands in the second half of 2017 to obtain a permit for the offering of online games of chance such as poker, casino games and sports betting. This is already the case in many EU countries.

The current Dutch Betting and Gaming Act is almost 50 years old and prohibits the offering of games of chance without a permit. Modernisation is called for because players can easily play games of chance via the Internet without the provider holding a permit. For under the Betting and Gaming Act, it is currently not possible to offer legal games of chance via the Internet. Players therefore turn to illegal offerings, which cannot be easily monitored.

The Bill on remote gambling regulates online games of chance, in which hundreds of thousands of Dutch citizens currently partake without protection or monitoring. The bill forms the basis for a permit system, allowing Dutch players to participate safely and responsibly in online games of chance. The new legislation will allow to set strict requirements on providers of online games of chance and consequently offer better protection of players against gaming addiction, for example. Permit holders in the Netherlands will pay 29% tax on games of chance, a 0.25% contribution to the addiction fund and a 1.5% contribution to the Gaming Authority on the gross results of the games.

This will simply signalling players (now invisible) who show problematic gaming behaviour and offering them protection. A central register will also be set up for the most risky games by which problematic players can be temporarily excluded from participating in a game. Providers of online games of chance also need to contribute to a fund that helps in the fight against gaming addiction. The Bill on remote gambling will extend the enforcement powers of the Gaming Authority. The bill allows the Gaming Authority to check if permit holders observe the conditions. Any providers who do not hold a permit can be dealt with more severely.