Dutch senate passes Remote Gaming Act after years in limbo

Two and a half years after the original bill was passed in its House of Representatives, the Dutch Senate has finally passed its Remote Gaming Act, paving the way for igaming regulation across the Netherlands. 

With the aim of addressing the unregulated online gambling market for Dutch consumers, the new legislative framework will be integrated into law through a Royal Decree.

It is believed that licences will be granted from mid-2020, providing that the process is not delayed further. Operators will be required to implement comprehensive responsible gambling measures, and will be subject to a 29.1% tax on gross revenue.

The legislation received the support of senators from the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, Democrats 66, Party for Freedom, Labour Party and GroenLinks.

During the two and a half year limbo period, the Dutch gaming regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has looked to clamp down on the unregulated market.

It comes after a recent survey carried out by the Holland Casino which found that approximately 1.8m of Holland’s citizens had previously placed bets via illegal gambling sites.

The Dutch Minister for Legal Protection, Sander Dekker, has played a major role in the pursuit to approve the Remote Gaming Act: “We see that society is digitizing, and more than half a million Dutch people are participating unprotected in online gambling currently.

“This involves big risks such as gambling addiction and fraud,” he continued. “I am happy that we can now offer players a secure system in which games of chance can be played online in a responsible manner.”

The approval of the bill has been welcomed by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), which had also recognised Dekker’s efforts to regulate the Dutch market.

“Online gambling is popular in the Netherlands and the current situation is neither justifiable nor tenable – because 1.8 million Dutch people are gambling online without regulatory protection under Dutch law,” EGBA secretary general Maarten Haijer stated. “Our message is simple: it is in the interests of everyone to have a well-regulated market which protects players.”

“We now look forward to working with the Dutch Gambling Commission, De Kansspelautoriteit, to ensure an effective implementation of the new rules in a timely and consumer-friendly way.”

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