Categories: Gambling LawsIndustry

Online Gambling Bill in the Netherlands Officially Passed

The Dutch online gambling market is finally open for business. An online gambling bill in the Netherlands has been officially approved by the Senate. Foreign gambling sites can soon operate inside this country legally.

It’s a historic moment for a country with millions of gambling fans. Hundreds of gambling operators will soon begin applying for licenses to legally accept Dutch players.

Steps to Pass an Online Gambling Bill in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has been pushing to open its online gambling market for years. Lawmakers first introduced legislation all the way back in 2014. The Dutch House of Representatives passed these laws, yet it failed to be approved in the Senate.

Five years later, the Senate changed its stance. The laws were unanimously approved, and officials in the Netherlands are now working to establish a legal framework that allows gambling companies based in other countries to offer their services to Dutch gamblers.

We know that online gambling sites in Europe will need to apply for a license from the Dutch Gambling Authority. These sites could begin operating here legally by January of 2021. Tax rates and limitations on advertisements have not been announced.

Online Gambling in Netherlands Set for Blackout Period

The Dutch government is agreeing on a blackout period for the online gambling market. During this time, lawmakers will decide what to do with gambling operators that previously accepted Dutch gamblers without a license to do so. These so-called “cowboys” may be forced into a two year ‘cooling period’ before they can apply for a license.

The blackout period will also give the Dutch government time to agree on policies aimed to prevent problem gambling. It’s likely that websites operating here will need to clearly feature links to government websites listing the dangers of online gambling.

There are still many questions as to how the online gambling bill in the Netherlands will be implemented. It’s clear that the market here is officially opening up for business. The government now has years to come up with a specific strategy to protect its citizens and revenue earnings.

European Countries Continue to Liberalize Gambling Markets

The fact that this online gambling bill in the Netherlands has passed is proof that Europe is quickly liberalizing its online gaming markets. A number of countries in this continent have recently begun opening their markets to foreign gambling sites. Many of these countries are already reaping the rewards.

Last month, government officials in Croatia announced new legislation toward their online gambling industry. Before that time, foreign websites had free reign to accept Croatian players without paying taxes. Now, these sites will need to apply for a license and pay fees on Croatian players’ losses.

Not all countries are loosening online gambling regulations. Earlier this month, Sweden announced a new set of regulations on gambling advertisements. Just last week, the UK called on gambling operators to cease any marketing efforts to people under the age of 25.

Overall, the European gambling market appears to be opening up. Many countries are beginning to realize the potential for massive revenue earnings. The Netherlands is the most recent country to open its marketplace. Before long, we might see every country in Europe regulating this popular industry.

Do you think the online gambling bill in the Netherlands will be good for players here? What will be the next country to regulate its online gambling industry? Make sure to let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Kevin Oldroyd

A longtime sports and gambling enthusiast, Kevin looks to present up-to-date and reliable information for readers. If he’s not writing, he’s probably watching MMA or playing blackjack.

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