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Could online gambling soon be legalised in the Netherlands?

Wed, Feb 6, 9:51am by Staff Writer

The Netherlands is reportedly one step closer to the legalisation of online gambling according to European Gaming.

The 2019 government budget contains information about the budgetary consequences of the legalisation of online gambling.

The expected tax revenue from sports betting alone is expected to be 6 million euro for 2020 according to the report.

The government expects to rake in 12 million euros each year starting from 2021 from sports betting taxes.

The tax revenue from other soon to be legal forms of online gambling such as roulette, bingo and poker are yet to be included in those figures.

It is believed to be unlikely that the Dutch Senate will not pass the bill. In the event that it did not, the government would be missing out on the calculated atx revenue that could turn out problematic for the concerning ministry.

The new gambling law will be in effect from the 1st of July 2020.

The Gaming Authority will need six more months to issue the necessary permits to online gambling operators, after which time gambling will be legal in the Netherlands.

More and more Dutch gamblers are gambling online

With a legal gambling opportunity supposedly on the horizon, new figures released by independent research and consultancy agency Motivaction International show that an estimated 1.86 million Dutch citizen – in a population of only 17 million – had engaged in some form of unauthorised online gambling for money during 2018.

The 2018 figure represents an increase of more than 300,000 in the number of online gamblers since Motivaction last surveyed the market in 2016.

Motivaction estimates that the total unauthorised online market was worth 592 million euros last year, from which the Dutch government does not earn a single cent.

The survey queried more than 15,000 respondents between the ages of 18 and 80 in November 2018, with the survey commissioned by the state-owned land casino monopoly Holland Casino.

Sports betting tied with bingo as the most popular online gambling activities with nine per cent participation.

Online betting’s nine per cent was a much higher share of the 12 per cent who admitted betting via any medium, compared with the 25 per cent share of bingo players who played via any medium.

Strong majorities among all online gambling verticals expressed their preference for patronising a Dutch-approved option, even though such an option does not yet exist.

The Netherlands’ Remote Gambling Bill is set to be debated on February 5 and is expected to face a Senate vote on February 12.

It is expected that a slim majority of Senators will back the legislation, which would create a regulated market where operators are able to apply for licenses.

The Remote Gambling Bill has been in the works for more than three years while debate has been ongoing about online gambling since 2010.

The bill calls for a 29 per cent tax on all online and offline gambling revenues.

Another 1.5 per cent tax would go towards the state’s regulatory authority, with a further 0.5 per cent set aside to assist problem gamblers.

The country began to crack down on illegal gambling operations by handing down hefty penalties in 2018.

In total, fines of more than $1.95 million were issued in 2018, with five penalties levied against online gambling operators that hold international licenses such as William Hill, Cyber Rock, Mr Green, Betsson and Bet at Home.

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