Dutch Senate Debates Online Gambling Legislation

Although it was planned to put up a Dutch online gambling bill for voting on February 12th…

…the state Senate might be guilty of postponing the voting date again.

For the past two years, the Senators have been obstructing the progress of this bill, and now they are demanding from the Justice Minister to give them the answers to their concerns.

Remote Gaming Bill

The Dutch online gambling bill was approved by the lower chamber over two years ago, in July of 2016, but according to the Senate, there is always room for debate if the legislation of this bill is a smart move.

The bill, named the Remote Gaming Bill back when Marja Appelman was CEO of the Dutch Gaming Authority…

…was compiled with intentions of allowing international operators to gain online licenses.

But, on Tuesday’s Senate Debate, the Senators demanded from Justice Minister, Sander Dekker, to give them answers to three main questions.

Question 1

The Senate wants to know the exact definition of the term, “illegal operator,” and if any operator already marked as illegal can be excluded from participating in the Netherlands’ newly regulated market.

Question 2

What measures will the government use in order to restrict gambling advertisement on online websites…

…especially on social media, and what laws can stand behind these restrictions in the future?

Question 3

And last, but not least, was the Senate’s question about Dutch laws that would give power to the government to block the domains of gambling websites that don’t have the license to operate in the Netherlands.

According to the Minister, the government wants to use Denmark’s model and license as many international operators as possible…

…as a way of channeling the huge number of existing Dutch online gamblers to the regulated market.

Waiting for the Minister

Mr. Sander Dekker gave his word that he will provide answers to the three main questions by Friday the 8th of February at the latest. If his answers get approved by the majority, then the voting day will remain the same (February 12th).

But, analysists are not that optimistic and they believe that nothing is certain until the Bill gets the majority’s approval.

€1.7 million in Fines

The Dutch regulatory body, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), issued €1.7 million in fines in 2018, because of the new set of rules KSA announced…

…but the operators didn’t obey.

The problem was that the operators didn’t do enough to prevent people from entering their sites and placing wagers. Five operators suffered the biggest consequences: Mr. Green, Bet-at-Home, Betsson, CybeRock/Honeydew and William Hill.

Privatization of Holland Casino

Also, the Senate debated the Casino Reform Bill which is constituted with the intention to bring to an end the long-awaited privatization of the Dutch land-based gaming monopoly. Holland Casino.

But, unlike for the previous bill, the senators were not that keen to put up a debate and decide on it urgently. As Minister Dekker said, the bill looks “more like a suggestion” than some urgent matter.


“Dutch online gambling legislation hits Senate speed-bump”, Steven Stradbrooke, calvinayre.com, February 6, 2019.

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