Gambling regulation in the Netherlands

While the prime ministers in Germany disagree about how online casinos will be regulated in the future, the liberalization of online casinos in the Netherlands is in full swing. Right now there is an unrestricted insight into how a new regulation can take place – directly from the neighboring country. What we notice immediately: The topic of online casinos is not widespread for years. After just a few months, there is a clear direction and well-thought-out objectives. An important point that our ministers are happy to take to heart.

The politicians in the Netherlands are already known in Germany for being able to offer faster and goal-oriented solutions and to silence critics. Seen retrospectively, even before Germany, the Netherlands limited the speed limit to 100 and cannabis has long been liberalized – whether that's good or bad, we leave it up to everyone. The fact is that the politicians in Holland are obviously quick and easy even on sensitive issues such as serious online casinos search for and find solutions specifically.

Regulation of online casinos in Holland

Germany is not the only country that has to struggle with gambling in the online casino. Even though Holland is referred to as an advanced gambling regulation country based on recent reports, this has not always been the case. Although gambling in the Netherlands has been regulated for years, there was one point that could not be accommodated in Germany: online casinos.

The breakthrough and the official launch of the final phase will come in 2019. Goals are set and the path is mapped out – there is a clear line in the neighboring country. Around 80 people have been interested in the new license since June. German real money casinos would also like to step out of the gray area and welcome good regulation.

How is the new regulation in Holland made up?

The Dutch have just looked at one or the other – why not? A uniform lock file is planned. Online casinos must use this to carry out a comparison before the player account is activated. It goes without saying that players under the age of 18 are not allowed access to the gaming offer. Due to data protection and an in-principle impossible age verification directly upon registration, information and warnings will probably be used during the registration process. It is also a requirement that the company's headquarters peddle in the EU. This also includes Malta.

In this way, already established providers in Europe met the most important criteria. For example, we are not aware that 5 star online casinos do not care about the protection of minors and players. Since most providers are located in Malta, the question of the seat would also be cut off. In principle, the Dutch regulation almost seamlessly follows the European one – with some restrictions. Keyword: advertising.

According to the study, 1.86 million Dutch people played between 2016 and 2018 on websites that are not licensed and regulated by the Dutch gaming authority Kansspelautoriteit (KSA). 

The customers of the non-regulated online gambling providers preferred poker, bingo, roulette and sports betting.

Motivation assumes that the unregulated game would generate around 600 million euros annually. This means a loss of tax revenue of 175 million euros.

However, the market research institute's survey also found that players who regularly visit unregulated online casinos prefer to play on licensed platforms.

Strict guidelines:

The Dutch guidelines for online gambling are very strict. Only Holland gambling Casino is authorized to operate online gambling websites with a small amount of games.

The KSA has tried several times to prevent the unregulated online game by imposing heavy fines on offshore that do not have a license.

In 2018 alone, the KSA imposed fines of 1.7 million euros. Several sanctions were also imposed..

Legislation in the Netherlands necessary

Even though the KSA is cracking down on unregulated foreign providers, the commission sees the cause of the problems in the government. In the past, the KSA had turned to the government more often to enforce legislation regulating online casinos.

Jan Suyver, the former head of KSA, said last year that the current situation was a shame because the Netherlands was the only country that had not yet regulated online betting.

Online gambling bill

A draft regulation on gambling has been available to the Dutch assembly since 2015. The process stalled, however, as two strictly Christian opposition parties spoke out against the opening of the gaming market.  

Another content of the bill concerns online Holland gambling, betting, and Casino, which currently owns fourteen branches in the country. The chain is to end and then privatized. Ten casinos will keep their names.

The KSA will start to be responsible for the gambling regulation. It is expected that companies based in the EU will receive the first licenses.

Until then, there are still a few questions to be answered. For example, how to best implement socially responsible gambling.

It remains to be seen how legislators and regulators will also deal with those gaming companies that have already been fined. It has been suggested that these providers should not enter the regulated market. But all of that will be decided in the coming week.

Planned measures to prevent gambling addiction

An increase in gambling interset was not found in the Motivaction survey. Nevertheless, the bill provides for measures to deal efficiently with pathological gambling behavior.

This should include, for example, the additional levy of 0.5% of the revenue that the providers generate. The money is to be used to finance programs to support addicts.

Another requirement that providers should meet is the appointment of an employee who will exclusively take care of preventing gambling addiction.

Germany: bans instead of regulation

First Denmark and now the Netherlands – two neighboring countries that show Germany how gambling regulation can work. What the politicians of the two neighboring countries achieve in a short time (comparison with Germany) does not seem to interest German politicians. Instead, potential bans are being rolled out.

What happens when the majority of online casinos are banned?

There will be a split. Several federal states have acknowledged that a ban is in no way in their favor. Should this still happen, the state law is invoked and each federal state regulates for itself.

Attempts are currently being made to enforce the ban through payment service providers. However, German politicians do not see that this is not legally compliant and violates the EU's freedom to provide services. PayPal has withdrawn from the gaming sector, but this is because paying in the online casino is a very small line of business for the company.

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