The Netherlands has seen a massive surge in gambling popularity over the past several years. Coinciding with this popularity, the government here has decided to implement some new laws. Reports have just come out that a new Dutch gambling bill will be officially voted on next week.
This is a huge step in the Netherlands regulating their online gambling industry. We’ll now be talking about whether or not this bill will be approved by the Senate, and what the ramifications will be for the market here.
The Netherlands’ online gaming industry didn’t take off until very recently. Gambling laws exist here to regulate the land-based gambling market, yet only one state-run company has a license to operate. The monopoly that Holland Casino claims over the industry has limited the amount of revenue the Netherlands can earn.
Surprisingly, this country has not yet implemented any legislature to regulate their online gambling industry. Many of the most popular gambling websites in Europe are available here, yet the government does not earn any revenue on their operations.
That hasn’t stopped Dutch gamblers from playing through these sites. According to multiple sources, online gambling in the Netherlands has increased by more than 200% over the past two years. The online gambling industry here is now said to be worth around €600 million annually.
It’s likely that the government has taken notice of this massive increase in online gambling. Last week, we reported that a new Dutch gambling bill was introduced to help oversee the online gambling marketplace.
The Netherlands have essentially left their online gambling market open. Foreign websites have been operating here without having to pay the government taxes on their revenue. The new bill introduced, called EK 34.471, will change all of this.
If the Senate passes the bill, foreign gambling websites will need to acquire a license by the government in order to legally operate in the country. If licensed, these companies will need to pay a flat 29% tax fee to the government on their revenue.
The Senate has come up with a number of measures to implement if the bill is agreed to.
Any websites and gambling companies that previously accepted Dutch gamblers will need to wait two years before they can apply for a license. During this ‘cool down’ period, the Netherlands gambling regulator will monitor these companies before deciding whether or not to allow them a license application.
The Senate is currently working to decide on advertisement laws for gambling operators. A complete ban is unlikely. Instead, these companies will need to advertise under strict conditions. They will be unable to target anyone under the age of 24 and cannot use athletes or social media influencers to market their products.
A similar bill was approved by the lower chamber of the Dutch legislature in 2016. The Senate shut it down. This time is different, though. An official vote will take place on February 19th.
After two long debates over the specifics of the bill, it looks likely that it will be approved. Regulation of this market will earn the government millions in revenue every single year.
It’s an exciting time for the Netherlands’ gambling industry. The huge amount of gambling fans here may finally have a legal option to place bets on their favorite sports and casino games.
Do you think the new Dutch gambling bill will be good for the industry here? What measures will the Senate take to regulate the market? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!
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