Netherlands to Implement Temporary Gambling Tax Hike
The Netherlands is on the verge of introducing new framework that will regulate gambling. In the meantime, though, the Dutch government has announced a temporary hike in gambling tax.
Gambling operators based in the Netherlands currently pay a tax of 29 percent. The new proposal will increase that by 1.1 percent up to 30.1 percent on gross gaming revenue. Once the new gambling bill is finally signed into law, the Dutch government will reduce the tax once again to 29 percent after six months. That six-month span will give the Dutch Gaming Authority enough time to make any adjustments necessary after the new gambling law is enacted.
The tax hike will go into effect for casino gambling, slots and all forms of remote gambling, as well.
Into Effect Until 2019
The Dutch government is set to release its budget plan for 2018. The new gambling bill is expected to finally be signed into law on July 1, 2018, which means the new 30.1 percent tax on operators will be in effect until New Year’s Day of 2019.
Analysts were surprised that the industry is essentially being penalized for the delayed law. Lawmakers were having a difficult time coming to an agreement on certain provisions of the new bill, which has been a major cause of the lengthy delay.
The new law will open the Dutch internet gaming market to operators outside the Netherlands’ borders. Dutch citizens have been vocal in their desire for regulated iGaming services. Unfortunately, due to the lack of regulations, operators have never been allowed to operate legally within the Netherlands.
Earlier in 2017, the Netherlands’ Gaming Authority, Kansspelautoriteit, released new regulations that help clear the blurred lines regarding the unregulated Dutch iGaming environment. Kansspelautoriteit made it far more difficult for operators to target Dutch players. The Netherlands may now fine unlicensed operators that operated within the nation’s borders.
The Dutch iGaming bill passed in the Dutch House in the summer of 2016 before they sent it to the Senate for consideration. The House was hopeful that the law would be quickly passed and implemented, but the bill ran into some roadblocks in the Senate.
The new rules put into place by Kansspelautoriteit were hugely controversial among stakeholders in the gambling industry. Online gambling operator Betsson, which is based in Malta, was chief among those opposed to the new tighter restrictions. Betsson even went so far as to attempt to take the matter into court. Unfortunately for Betsson, a court in The Hague ruled in favor of Kansspelautoriteit earlier in September.
The court ruled against Betsson’s claim that the new rules violated the European Union’s regulations and limited operators’ abilities to freely distribute their services and products within the region.
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