Opening the Dutch Market for Online Gambling

Introduction

Good news for national and international gaming companies. A new law is in the making, opening up the possibility for gaming companies to provide online gambling services to the Dutch market. Until now online gambling has always been prohibited in the Netherlands.

If the bill is passed, it is likely that the new law enters into force on 1 January 2016. This change of course in Dutch gaming law is interesting for the sales and marketing divisions of online gaming companies. They can now also focus their aim on the Dutch consumer. However, to gain excess to the Dutch online gaming market, companies have to comply with a set of strict rules. These rules are also important from an operational standpoint, because they require the online gaming companies to adjust the way they provide their services.

In this blog we will discuss the requirements for gaining excess to the Dutch market of online gambling.

 

Background

The Dutch government always had a clear motivation for prohibiting online gambling; the protection of consumers against the dangers of addiction and fraud. However, the prohibition did not prevent the Dutch consumer from gambling online. A large population of Dutch consumers is active in sports betting and online poker on websites that are hosted outside the Netherlands. Because the government has no control over foreign gambling websites and is rapidly losing income, it decided to open up the Dutch market for restricted online gaming. This way the Dutch Gambling Authority can supervise online gambling and maintain a restricted and save gambling environment.   

 

License 

Only companies with a license from the Dutch Gambling Authority are allowed to provide gambling services to consumers In the Netherlands. In order to obtain a gaming license, companies have to take anti-addiction and anti-fraud measures.

Anti-addiction measures

Gaming companies have a duty of care for gamers on their websites. They must provide consumers with information about the risks of gambling addiction and provide insight in their gambling behaviour. Therefore, gaming companies must have the possibility to review the consumer’s gambling behaviour and create gamer profiles on the duration of playtime and the balance of gamers’ bankroll.

Furthermore, they have to have the power to moderate the gamers’ gambling in the event they show risky behaviour. Gaming companies also have to provide addiction tests to consumers and make mandatory donations to an anti-addiction fund.

Anti-fraud measures

To protect the consumers against fraud or other criminal activity gaming companies have to take the following measures: 

1.      Provide information about the games the website offers;

2.      Provide information about the costs and rates of the games;

3.      Provide a helpdesk for questions and complaints consumers might have;

4.      Take measures that prevent minors to participate in online gaming;

5.      Collect personal information from the gamers for identification;

6.      Use tools that can track all transactions and trace them back to identifiable gamers;

7.      Comply with the Money laundering and terrorism financing Act.

After obtaining a gambling license, gaming companies also will have to comply with the special rules for advertising their gambling services.

 

Gaming Tax

The bill proposes to impose a tax of 20 per cent on the gaming companies. Compared to other European countries this is on the high side.

If the bill passes, national and international gaming companies will be able to provide online gambling services to the Dutch market. In case you are interested in entering the Dutch online gambling market, please feel free to contact us at +31 (0)20 3109980 or at info@meritattorneys.com. We could provide advice on how to obtain a gambling license, how to comply with the new and existing rules on online gambling and/or provide a second opinion.

  

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