By Euro Weekly News Media • 24 March 2021 • 13:27
The Bill has already been amended several times and it is now in its final form. The last amendment was published on 21 June 2020, which can be found here.
All Dutch players, their operators and the betting industry have responded well to the Bill up to now, with a total of five stakeholder submissions that do not depart much from the Bill’s provisions being received during the consultation period that ended on 4 December 2020.
The Netherlands is a small population country with a stable democracy and a relatively harmonised gambling market. Dutch online gambling has been booming in recent years, with the number of players hitting 3 million in March 2019. The government’s objective is to ensure that online gambling continues to flourish in the Netherlands for years to come.
The Bill has drawn many comments (with an average of around 100 comments per day) over its six-week consultation period, which concluded on 4 December 2020. These comments are now being processed by the government in full accordance with applicable privacy legislation, and will be made available for public consultation by 13 May 2021 together with an implementation guide for online gambling platforms and providers.
At the same time, the government will publish a report on the results of its new stakeholder consultation process. The report will go beyond only the content and provisions of the Bill, and will also include general policy considerations.
The extended delay is due to the fact that, according to Dutch law, regulation of remote (online) gambling requires a series of secondary laws (via a process called “deregulation by means of secondary legislation”).
These secondary laws, which are described in more detail below, need to be carefully prepared and then approved by the relevant parliamentary committees. A draft version of the relevant secondary legislation will be published on 6 May 2021. The draft version will also serve as a basis for further stakeholder consultation as part of an extensive process.
It is expected that these secondary laws will be implemented on 1 October 2021. They will be published on the government’s website once finalized. In the meantime, operators like the best online casino Netherlands are advised to monitor developments closely.
The Bill is concerned with remote gambling (online and mobile applications for games of chance) and accompanying measures for self-exclusion, age verification, fight against money laundering and fraud and consumer protection.
The law will apply equally to virtual currency and distributed ledger technology (DLT) platforms and services. This means that they will be subject to the same rules as other remote gambling service providers.
The Bill will replace the current Dutch national laws on gambling, in particular those on betting and remote gambling, which are based primarily on the Gambling Act (1981) and the Betting Act (1993). It will also take account of developments in other EU member states.
Under current Dutch law, there are three types of remote gambling service provider: retail gaming operators, such as bookmakers; e-gaming service providers; and payment service providers such as Trustly.
The Bill will introduce small offshore operators as well as virtual currency and DLT platforms and services. This means that they will be subject to the same rules as other remote gambling service providers (i.e. each type of provider or system will fall under different rules), for example the rules on age verification, self-exclusion, fraud and money laundering.
It is important to note that the Bill only covers remote gambling service providers. If an operator does not provide a game of chance but offers a service (such as online casino accounts), then that operator falls within existing Dutch national law on gambling. As such, that service falls within the scope of the new law if it is part of a larger game of chance.
The following will remain prohibited:
(a) intermediaries offering online gaming alongside other services; and
(b) offering online games individually via websites, without participation in a remote gaming system.
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