The Netherlands is on the cusp of overhauling its state-controlled gambling industry. Lawmakers are preparing a draft legislation that will address issues such as addiction and differentiate between games of chance and games of skill. Here’s a brief overview of the proposed changes.
The Netherlands has decided to step up its efforts in letting third-party operators take part in its online gambling trade, an announcement came from the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security. The country will push forward legalization of its Remote Gambling Act, hoping to keep pace with regulatory changes that are happening throughout Western European presently. The mulled changes to the Netherlands’ Remote Gambling Act may also see the way clear for private investors to step in and privatize the state-owned casino and lottery company, Holland Casino.
The news for the proposed overhaul came from Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker. The Ministry of Justice and Security has hurried to confirm the news and commented that the government is taking active steps towards establishing a sustainable gambling framework.
Breaking the Gambling Ice – The Pitfalls
Naturally, the Dutch government is not going to take the legislation enforcement lightly. In fact, lawmakers will actively seek to fight gambling addiction, with a particular emphasis on young people, and ensure that operators who have acquired licenses will carry out their responsibilities and commitments in full.
Minister Dekker has reiterated the commitment of the state towards upholding practices that will guarantee that consumers are protected from
illegal and unsafe offers. With the liberalization of the gambling industry on the cards, Netherlands Gaming Authority CEO Marja Appelman has urged gambling operators in the country to innovate whilst remaining within the legal framework.
Minister Dekker in the Spotlight
On June 19, Minister Dekker delivered his three-pronged plan for the adoption and integration of a more liberal gambling market. As outlined, he wants to focus on fighting gambling addiction, which is listed as the first priority of the bill. The letter has outlined that
several hundred thousand people in the Netherlands have played
games of chance without protection over the course of several years.
In light of this, Minister Dekker is pushing for a clear separation between skill-based games and those that depend on chance and are unrelated to the individual’s aptitude at a given game.
Lastly, any operator that hopes to run business in the Netherlands and become a purveyor of gambling products will have to open offices in the country and submit to the direct control of the Netherlands’ own gambling authorities. Moreover, all operators will have to take an active stance on fighting gambling addiction by appointing a representative who will help with addiction prevention.
After the Coldsnap
Until recently, the Netherlands was a hardliner on online gambling. Lawmakers baulked at the idea of letting third-party operators pry control out of the state and establish their own businesses. In that context, Holland Casino was the only legal gambling entity allowed to operate and accept wager money. Now, things are finally going in favor of the online gambling industry. What remains to be seen is which operators will be the first to make a move into the country.