Netherlands Senate Debating Online Gambling and Holland Casino Privatization Bills
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The Netherlands Senate is about to proceed with discussions on several bills that aim to propose important changes to both the online and land-based sectors of their gambling industry. The regulations were already approved by the House of Representatives, but have seen little evolution in the upper chamber of the country’s main legislative body since then.
The countries upper legislative forum is set to debate today 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.
House of Representatives of the Netherlands approved the Remote Gambling Bill two years ago, back in 2016. Altogether, the bill allows for the regulation and liberalization of the Netherlands’ online gambling market. Foreign online gambling companies will be able to apply for licenses and operate in the 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 today.
Privatization of Holland Casino
The committee is also discussing another matter mainly the privatization of Holland Casino, the nation’s land-based and state-run operator.
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.
Source: European Gaming Industry News