Dutch Senate adopts Remote Gambling Bill

19 February 2019

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Today the Dutch Senate voted to adopt the Remote Gambling Bill. The passing of the bill will end the long overdue wait for a modern gaming legislation in the Netherlands. The new law is expected to enter into force earliest in Q3 of 2020, which is also when license applications will be accepted. Gaming tax will be applicable at the rate of 29% of GGR. Betsson welcomes the regulation of the Dutch market despite concerns about the accompanying proposal for a cooling off period.

The debate regarding the Dutch gambling market has been going on for a long time and today the Dutch Senate finally passed the Remote Gambling Bill, which will allow foreign gaming companies to receive a local license.

The new law is accompanied by a proposal from the Dutch Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker for a cooling off period of two years for “illegal operators"*. How the proposal would find its way into a formal regulation is yet unclear. The Minister’s proposal does not distinguish between fined operators and those who have not been fined, putting Corona Ltd (a Betsson subsidiary that received a fine and disputed it in 2018), in the same position with all other foreign operators active in the market, in that regard.

“Finally, there will be modern gambling legislation in one more big monopolistic market in Europe. Betsson Group already has 12 local licenses in Europe and we are looking forward to the Netherlands following the suit of other European countries in opening up the market to competition. We welcome the regulation despite our concern about the so called cooling off period which could harm channelization of local customers as well as be deemed as non-compliant with EU law," says Pontus Lindwall, CEO of Betsson AB.

“Our understanding is that all international operators currently in the market would be eligible for a Dutch license but such license may be issued with a delay reflecting the cooling off period. It is also our understanding that this period is not intended to be a blackout period. Should the cooling off period be implemented, Betsson operational subsidiaries have made and will continue to make certain adjustments to their offering to best handle the impact of the cooling-off period as well as put themselves into a good position for the licensing process," continues Pontus Lindwall.

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