Netherlands – Today the Dutch Senate approved an online gambling law for the Netherlands, bringing the Netherlands into line with 25 other EU countries who already regulate the activity. The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), representing Europe’s leading online gambling companies, welcomes the adoption of the new law as an important step to establish a functioning and well-regulated online gambling market which protects online players.
Online gambling is popular in the Netherlands, with 1.8 million Dutch citizens – over 10% of the country’s total population – participating in some form of online gambling last year. But the Netherlands is one of three EU countries (IRE, NL, SLO) that currently do not have any regulation for online gambling. The absence of regulation means there are no Dutch-licensed gambling websites, leaving its citizens to play on websites not regulated by the Dutch authorities – where there is no guarantee of adequate consumer safeguards and the Dutch State loses out on €175m in tax revenue each year.
“We welcome the introduction of the law which will finally bring gambling regulation in the Netherlands into the 21st century and congratulate Minister Dekker on his efforts and commitment to regulate the sector. Online gambling is popular in the Netherlands and the current situation is neither justifiable nor tenable – because 1.8 million Dutch people are gambling online without regulatory protection under Dutch law. Our message is simple: it is in the interests of everyone to have a well-regulated market which protects players.
For the new law to be a success, it must be supported by a licensing system which attracts enough companies to meet consumer demand and a tax regime that ensures that the regulated market remains competitive and attractive for Dutch players. Because Dutch players, whether they play poker or place a bet on a sports match, should be able to find the products they are looking for with companies regulated in the Netherlands, that pay taxes there and apply local consumer safeguards.
We now look forward to working with the Dutch Gambling Commission, De Kansspelautoriteit, to ensure an effective implementation of the new rules in a timely and consumer-friendly way.” – Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA)
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