EGBA calls for Dutch online gambling regulation
Ahead of a 5 February debate in the Dutch Senate on a proposed new online gambling law for the Netherlands, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has issued its support for Minister Sander Dekker’s ongoing work to modernise the Dutch gambling framework and urges the Senate to approve his proposals in the next weeks. The Netherlands is currently one of only three EU countries who do not regulate online gambling – leaving its online gamblers playing in an unregulated environment and depriving the Dutch state of valuable tax revenue.
For the specific measures to execute the law, the European Commission issued useful guidelines on how EU member countries can ensure a consistent, high level of consumer protection for their online gamblers. EGBA believes that the new Dutch gambling law should be based on these robust consumer guidelines in order to provide Dutch players with the consumer choice and protection they need in today’s online world.
“The introduction of a Dutch online gambling framework is urgently needed. The Netherlands is now one of the few EU countries who do not regulate online gambling – and this situation is no longer tenable.
Despite the current lack of regulation, recent research shows that 1.9 million Dutch citizens – over 10% of the total population – participated in online gambling last year. These players played on websites which are based in other countries and are neither regulated nor pay taxes in the Netherlands.
Online gambling is a popular pastime – but the uncertain policy basis in the Netherlands hurts normal, law-abiding citizens and puts their protection at risk by forcing them to play in an unregulated online environment. In 2018, the Dutch online market was worth €592m, meaning the Dutch state is also unnecessarily losing about €175m in tax revenue each year.
That is why EGBA welcomes Minister Dekker’s ongoing commitment to modernise the current laws and advocates for the introduction of a well-regulated, multi-license model.
For online gambling regulation to be a success, it should be underpinned by a licensing system which is able to attract enough companies to meet the demand of well-educated and internet-savvy consumers. For Dutch people, whether they play poker or like betting on sports, they should be able to find all the products they are looking for with companies regulated in the Netherlands, that pay taxes there and apply local consumer safeguards.
A licensing model which facilitates this consumer choice will create a better functioning market with players who are properly protected and valuable tax receipts for the Dutch state.”
– Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA)