Netherlands: EGBA interview with BNR Nieuwsradio
17 Oct 2018 – EGBA’s Secretary General, Martin Haijer, was interviewed today by the BNR Nieuwsradio, the main business radio station in the Netherlands, to discuss the outstanding regulation of the Dutch gambling market. The interview is available online, in Dutch language only, but you can review an English language summary below.
Q: 240 million GGR equals 86 % illegal / not regulated. Why illegal and foreign websites?
A: Yes, NL citizens play online, but there is no legislation yet to regulate the online market. People simply look for what is on offer. Current law is from 1964, the new bill is currently under discussion, we sincerely hope that in 2019 the licensing procedure can start.
Q: Why do you hope to pay tax revenue to the NL state?
A: Because it is already the case in most other EU countries. Most EGBA members are publicly listed, they are all expected to have licenses and pay their tax, and EGBA members are keenly interested in getting a Dutch licensing system in place.
Q: Is the NL now the Wild West of Europe?
A: No, there are also other MS that do not have a licensing regime yet, but it is true that NL is one of the last in the EU to introduce a licensing regime.
Q: With a licensing regime, NL customers can still play on foreign websites, but those need to pay tax?
A: Yes indeed. It’s the internal market of the EU, so if you are established in the EU, you can offer your services in NL, but you do need to pay your due tax to the Dutch State. NL citizens might well play on websites that will not be established in NL, but the tax revenue will still go to the NL state
Q: These arguments sound legitimate and clear: so why does it takes this long?
A: It takes long not just in NL, but that’s because there were many questions on how consumer protection online could work and there were fears for the effect of online regulation on the position of the offline incumbents. Those question have now been answered and we sincerely hope that the Senate will approve the bill soon too so that the licensing procedure can start in 2019.