The Dutch Senate might finally begin discussions on several bills that aim to introduce significant changes to both the online and land-based sectors of the nation’s gambling industry. The legislations were already approved by the House of Representatives, some of them years ago, but have seen little progress in the upper chamber of the country’s main legislative body since then.
The Senate Committee for Justice and Security is set to debate Tuesday on the above-mentioned bills as well as on a recently penned letter by Dutch Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker that revealed an agreement on an important provision in the country’s Remote Gambling Bill had been reached between legislators.
The Dutch House of Representatives approved the Remote Gambling Bill in the summer of 2016. Generally speaking, the piece of legislation allows for the regulation and liberalization of the Netherlands’ online gambling market. Foreign online gambling companies will thus be able to apply for licenses and operate in a regulated environment.
The piece of legislation needs to be approved by the Senate in order to come into effect as a law. In a letter from last week, Minister Dekker informed the House of Representatives that they had agreed on the physical presence provision included in the bill. Under lawmakers’ agreement, gaming and betting companies based in the European Union or the European Economic Area will not be required to establish offices in the Netherlands in order to be allowed to operate in the country. However, companies located outside the EU/EEA will be obligated to have physical presence in the country.
The much-needed clarification in relation to the physical presence language in the Remote Gambling Bill was considered by many as the final big hurdle before the long-delayed consideration of the piece in the nation’s Senate.
As mentioned above, members of the Senate Committee for Justice and Security have included Minister Dekker’s letter as well as the bill itself in their Tuesday agenda. It is yet to be seen how much attention the gambling matter would be paid to tomorrow.
Holland Casino Privatization
The parliamentary committee is set to discuss another gambling-related and long-stalled matter during its meeting tomorrow – the privatization of Holland Casino, the nation’s state-run operator of brick-and-mortar casinos.
The Dutch House of Representatives approved early last year a bill on the matter and it is now up to the Senate to act on the planned privatization of the casino operation.
Under the legislative piece, Holland Casino’s ownership of fourteen land-based casinos across the nation would be split in branches. Ten would remain part of the Holland Casino brand, while four would be sold separately. Two additional casino licenses are planned to be issued under the proposed bill.
Under one of the provisions, the private operator that would purchase the ten venues would not be allowed to obtain any of the other six available licenses. The privatization of Holland Casino would be reviewed and evaluated five years after its completion under other another language. The country’s government is expected to reap over €1 billion from the move.