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New Dutch Coalition Will Tackle Gambling Regulation

The new political coalition announced between the PvdA (Labour) and VVD (Liberal) parties in Holland on Monday (29 October 2012) has stated it will reform and modernise gambling policy in the country.

The two political parties were the two with the most seats after the recent elections in September 2012. In publishing their draft coalition agreement they gave brief details on their intentions to modernise Dutch gambling policy.

The agreement stated:

“We will modernise gambling policy. Online gambling, sports betting and poker events will be strictly regulated. Thereby we will reduce the illegal offer of gambling. Compliance with the licensing conditions will be strictly monitored. Supplying gambling is not a core task of the government, therefore Holland Casino will be sold subject to conditions.”

Holland is one of the jurisdictions involved in long running legal cases at the European Court of Justice regarding the supply of online gambling. UK bookmaker Ladbrokes, for example, was involved in a dispute with Dutch monopoly De Lotto over the compatibility of Dutch gambling legislation with EU law (C-258/08). Betfair has also been in legal argument with the Ministry of Justice over the same matter (C-203/08).

In recent months various online gambling operators have blocked Dutch citizens from accessing their services in anticipation of being able to apply for a Dutch licence when they becomes available.

Media reports suggested the aim was to have changes implemented in 2015. A tax rate of 29% was stated, presumably on an operator’s GGY. Licences would be revoked if the tax was not paid and “illegal” operators currently targeting the Dutch market would be excluded from the new licensing process.

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