During the plenary session of the Senate today, it was decided that the final vote with respect to the Dutch Remote Gambling Act (“RGA”) will take place next Tuesday 19 February.
There was still too much uncertainty among the different members of the Senate, and the Minister was heavily questioned today on different parts of the RGA.
The main discussion concerned the cooling-off period, that is envisaged to be applied to gambling operators that have previously violated the Dutch gambling laws by actively targeting games of chance to the Dutch market. The Minister indicated that the prioritization criteria of the Dutch Gambling Authority will be leading to assess whether a gambling operator has previously violated the Dutch market (in short: use of the Dutch language, use of a .nl website, use of IDEAL, etc). Furthermore, there was discussion with respect to the length of the cooling-off period. The Minister mentioned that he can support a cooling-off period of 2 years.
The second main point of discussion concerned the restrictions on advertisement of online gambling. It was questioned whether advertisement would be necessary to achieve the desired channelling rate. However, the Minister was pretty clear that he doesn’t not support further restrictions on the current proposed regime, as informing players through advertisements is – in his view – an essential part of achieving the desired channelling rate.
As one or more members of the Senate asked for a vote, the vote on the RGA will take place on 19 February 2019. We will of course keep you updated on the vote!
Finally, the Minister asked the Senate to postpone the vote on the privatization of Holland Casino, as there did not seem to be enough support from the Senate. The Minister will revert to the Senate in the last week of May 2019 with further information on how he envisages to present this act to the Senate (e.g., no expansion of the amount of casinos, privatization will take place at a later stage), after which a vote may take place.
Ilias Abassi and Richard van Schaik