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Netherlands Finally Gets Online Gaming Law

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After a delay of two and half years, Netherlands lawmakers have finally approved the country’s first Remote Gaming Act, enabling the introduction of a regulated online industry.

The bill, which was designed to address the problem of the existing unregulated online gaming market, was originally passed by the House of Representatives in the autumn of 2016, but had been stuck in the Senate ever since as legislators argued over the details. But now it has been given Senate approval and is set to become part of Dutch law under a Royal Decree.

It was passed after gaining the approval of the senators from five parties: the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, Democrats 66, Party for Freedom, Labour Party and GroenLinks.

During the period that the bill was stuck in the Netherlands parliament, the Dutch gaming regulator had been taking its own steps to crack down on unregulated operators that targeted Dutch consumers. A recent survey conducted by Holland Casino showed that as many as 1.8 million Dutch citizens had placed bets online through illegal sites.

Speaking about the new law, the Minister for Legal Protection, Sander Dekker, who played a significant part in bringing about its passage, said that it would protect Dutch citizens:

I am happy that we can now offer players a secure system in which games of chance can be played online in a responsible manner.”

Under the terms of the law, licenses for regulated operators will be issued at some point in the second half of 2020, and all license applicants will have to adhere to responsible gambling policies. They will also be required to pay a 29.1% tax on their gross revenue.

The passage of the bill was also welcomed by the European Gaming and Betting Association, which reiterated that it was in everyone’s interest to have a well-regulated online gaming market.

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