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Richard van Schaik

Author's details

Name: Richard van Schaik
Date registered: January 8, 2013

Biography

www.dlapiper.com/richard_vanschaik

Latest posts

  1. Netherlands – Uncertainty remains for previous remote gaming violators — September 24, 2018
  2. Netherlands – Secondary Legislation to Remote Gaming Act ready for public consultation — September 21, 2018
  3. The Netherlands – First charity lottery license granted — November 23, 2016
  4. The Netherlands: regulator signs cooperation agreement with Financial Markets Authority — May 19, 2016
  5. Sponsor deal puts further pressure on tax rate in the Netherlands — January 27, 2016

Most commented posts

  1. The Netherlands: massive interest in Dutch remote gambling licenses — 1 comment
  2. The Netherlands: Annual report Gaming Authority – Illegal operators jeopardize granting of license — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Netherlands – Uncertainty remains for previous remote gaming violators

Netherlands – Uncertainty remains for previous remote gaming violators

 

Although last week, the Dutch Minister of Legal Protection published the Remote Gaming Decree (‘RGD’) for public consultation, i.e. secondary legislation to the new Dutch Remote Gaming Act,   uncertainty remains as to whether previous violations would prevent a successful application for a remote gaming license in the Netherlands.

 

In July 2018, the Minister clearly stated that previous violations of the Dutch gaming legislation would not automatically lead to a license to be denied, as such violation would not mean that that an operator is not reliable or irresponsible from the outset. Although previous violations do have a negative impact on the overall assessment, intention and future compliance must also be considered as well as for example the fact that the operator has licenses in other EU Member States. In other words, all aspects must be taken into account. Nonetheless, the Minster did emphasize already in July 2018 that operators that have been sanctioned by the Dutch regulator KSA, will not be eligible for a license when the remote gaming market will open up in the Netherlands. Further guidelines in this respect need to be developed by KSA.

 

In the explanatory memorandum to the draft RGD, the Minister further explains that previous violations – either in the Netherlands or abroad – can be a ‘heavy contraindication’ and is considered a reliability risk. However, the Minister states that for each individual violation the consequences for the reliability must be considered: “A minor and non-intentional violation committed has less value

than a deliberate, large-scale and long-term violation of the gaming legislation. It can also be important to what extent the operator has taken measures to prevent repetition.”

 

After this publication, the Minister met with the Senate’s Permanent Committee for Justice and Security. There, the Minster confirmed there that sanctions imposed do prevent obtaining a license. The Minister will ask KSA to further formulate procedures in this respect. These should also cover the period of time an operator will be excluded for obtaining a license

 

In other words, it seems to be clear that in case of previous sanctions imposed, operators won’t be able to immediately apply for a license; further guidance on the exact impact will follow. It is not clear though what the consequences will be for previous violations that haven’t been sanctioned. Given the Minister’s earlier statement in July, there may be hope for operators that have offered online games on the Dutch market but haven’t been sanctioned. Yet, we do see that in the past months, KSA has become really active in imposing new sanction. Uncertainty remains.

Netherlands – Secondary Legislation to Remote Gaming Act ready for public consultation

Finally, some movement with respect to the introduction of the Dutch Remote Gaming Act (‘RGA’).

Just before the summer break, the Minister of Legal Protection already announced that he wanted speed things up. He put his money where his mouth is, as last week, the Remote Gaming Decree (‘RGD’) was published for public consultation.

 

The draft RGD includes, other things, the following topics:

  • Licenses can be granted with respect to casino games (against other players or operators), and (sports and horse racing) betting. No licenses will be granted with respect to the organization  of lotteries.
  • Licenses will be granted for a maximum period of 5 years
  • Licenses will be granted within 6 months after application (which can be extended with another period of 6 months).
  • Main rule is that the operator needs to be based within the EU; however, under strict circumstances licenses may also be granted to operators outside the EU;
  • Strict rules apply with respect to the reliability of the holder of the license, the UBOs, the decision makers and the direct and indirect financiers, such based on their intentions, acts and behaviour in the past. More in particular, the following will be taken into account:
    • Gaming violations in the Netherlands and other jurisdictions;
    • Financial compliance with respect to sanctions and gaming tax;
    • Criminal, financial, tax or compliance records.
  • The license-holder must have a representative in the Netherlands in order to be able to comply with rules regarding de prevention of gambling addiction
  • Specific rules apply with respect to the operator’s landing page (e.g. only licensed games can be shown)
  • A separate administration must be in place with respect to the games that are licensed
  • An integrity policy must be in place  (including policies, proceedings and cooperation with other organizations to avoid match fixing)
  • A number of betting activities have been excluded from licenses, e.g. bets regarding an outcome that is negative or that can easily be manipulated (e.g. red cards) and bets regarding youth matches.
  • Prior to the acceptance of a new player the Central Register Gaming Exclusion be checked
  • A new player must always indicate the limits of its play behaviour, i.e. max. play limit, max. deposit, etc. and the operator must act accordingly.
  • Payment transaction between players and operator can only take place through a gaming account.
  • Further guidelines may come with respect to the appointment of an inspection authority regarding the games operated;
  • Advertising may not be addressed to people below the age of 24.

Operators and other stakeholders can provide their views before 6 November 2018.

Richard van Schaik

The Netherlands – First charity lottery license granted

by Richard van Schaik and Róbin de Wit

Yesterday, the Dutch Gaming Authority (“KSA”) granted for the first time a license since the Amsterdam District Court forced the KSA to revise its current policy on lottery licensing and to open the market to new licensees. Lottovate Nederland B.V. has been granted a license, according to which 50% of the stake should be made available to charity.

Earlier this year, Lottovate successfully challenged the strict Dutch lottery licensing system, according to which only four licenses for so called charitable lotteries were granted up and until 31 December 2016 (see our blog about this case here). A license was denied to Lottavate when it initialy applied for it. However, Lottovate stated that the Dutch policy limits the freedom to provide services under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The Amsterdam District Court decided that KSA should have taken this account. As a result of this court case, KSA set policy rules, enabling operators to apply for a charity lottery license.

Lottovate’s license has now been granted for the period 22 November 2016 until 31 December 2016. On 31 December 2016 all existing charity lotteries licenses expire. Operators can already apply for licenses starting 1 January 2017. Guidelines about the requirements for a charity lottery license can be found here.

 

 

 

The Netherlands: regulator signs cooperation agreement with Financial Markets Authority

Yesterday, the Dutch Gambling Authority (“KSA”) reported that it entered into an agreement with the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (“AFM”) to cooperate in the implementation of the Financial Supervision Act (Wft), Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act (Wwft) and the Betting and Gaming Act (Wok). The authorities intent to cooperate and to exchange information in order to prevent any overlap in activities to be carried out within the framework of the abovementioned acts, which is aimed to be beneficial to the quality of the two supervisory domains.

Sponsor deal puts further pressure on tax rate in the Netherlands

By Róbin de Wit and Richard van Schaik

This morning, a national Dutch newspaper reported that Unibet entered into a sponsor agreement with the Royal Dutch Cycling Union. As promoting gambling is still prohibited in the Netherlands, the agreement can only come into force once the new online gambling legislation has been introduced.

According to the newspaper, Unibet set two important conditions to the sponsor agreement. Firstly, the contract is subject to Unibet obtaining a license to operate in the Netherlands. Secondly,  the tax rate of 29%, the rate mentioned in the proposed legislation, should be lowered to 20%.

The second condition is remarkable and creative, as this puts indirectly pressure on Dutch government to lower the proposed tax rate, especially given the fact that the most recent signals from the government, indicate that the tax rate will start at 29% and might ultimately decrease to 25%. However, a final decision in this respect is still pending.

The Netherlands: Games of Chance Authority signs covenant with media operators

By Richard van Schaik and Róbin de Wit

Yesterday, the Dutch Games of Chance Authority (Kansspelautoriteit, “KSA”) reported that it agreed to cooperate with several media operators to make further arrangements with respect to the prevention of and fight against illegal games of chance advertisements. To that end, a covenant was concluded between the KSA and eight media operators. The KSA aims to expand the number of media participants in the near future.

The principle underlying the covenant is to contribute to safeguarding public interests, like the prevention of gambling addictions, the protection of consumers and combatting potential fraud and crime. Among others, arrangements have been made regarding blockages of advertising space in printed media, on the radio, tv and internet. This is a clear signal that advertising space will not be offered to illegal gambling operators by the participating media operators.

The Netherlands: Annual report Gaming Authority – Illegal operators jeopardize granting of license

By Richard van Schaik and Róbin de Wit

Last week, the Dutch Gaming Authority (“KSA”) published its 2104 annual report. The report provides some facts and figures with respect to 2014, as well as a forecast for the following years. Read the rest of this entry »

Netherlands: Binary options institution requires a license

By Richard van Schaik and Róbin de Wit

The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (‘AFM’) wrongly refused to provide a license to a Dutch institution that offers binary option services. This is the outcome of a preliminary judgement earlier this week by the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (‘CBB’). Read the rest of this entry »

The Netherlands: massive interest in Dutch remote gambling licenses

 

By Richard van Schaik (richard.vanschaik@dlapiper.com) and Róbin de Wit (robin.dewit@dlapiper.com)

As earlier announced, the Dutch Games of Chance Authority (“KSA”) called online gambling operators to express their interest in a future license for offering remote gambling in the Netherlands. Read the rest of this entry »

The Netherlands: highest fine in history for remote gambling

The Dutch Games of Chance Authority (“KSA”) has published its decision to impose a EUR 200,000 fine on an online gambling operator for offering online gambling targeted to the Netherlands.

Investigations took place during June 2012 – October 2013, whereby the KSA became aware of the fact that several gambling websites owned by the operator involved were using Dutch language, offered iDeal as payment method and did not include ‘the Netherlands’ in a list with boycotted countries. Hence, such websites were cleary targeted to the Netherlands, which is prohibited under Dutch gambling law.

Even after a stern warning from the KSA, the operator involved did not leave the Dutch market, which made the KSA to decide to impose the highest fine in history. The reason behind this amount is the large number of games that were offered, the prizes that could be won and the fact that seven (!) websites were involved. The KSA hopes that this fine will have a deterrent effect to other illegal operators.

At present, operators that wish to be active on the Dutch market cannot apply for a license in the Netherlands. However, this will change soon in 2015 as the reformation of the Dutch games of chance market will become a fact. Should you wish to be kept updated about the upcoming licensing procedure, please do not hesitate to contact the Dutch DLA Piper gambling team at richard.vanschaik@dlapiper.com and/or robin.dewit@dlapiper.com.

The Netherlands REMINDER: express your interest in a future license to offer online gambling!

By Richard van Schaik and Róbin de Wit

The Dutch Games of Chance Authority (“KSA”) called online gambling operators to express their interest in a license to offer online gambling in the Netherlands. This can be done as per today, through an online form available via http://www.kansspelautoriteit.nl/onderwerpen-0/kansspelen-internet/formulier/. Such form is only available in Dutch.

In this manner, the KSA is able to keep interested operators informed of the course of the developments with regard to the licensing procedure. Furthermore, the KSA will ask online gambling operators to provide input on the licensing requirements via a public consultation in the course of January 2015. Information on the application procedure will follow soon on KSA’s website.

Should you require any further information on the above, please do not hesitate to contact our DLA Gambling Team in the Netherlands – Richard van Schaik (richard.vanschaik@dlapiper.com), Prof. Jan Kabel (jan.kabel@dlapiper.com), and Róbin de Wit (robin.dewit@dlapiper.com).

The Netherlands: express your interest in a future license to offer online gambling!

By Richard van Schaik and Róbin de Wit

The Dutch Games of Chance Authority (“KSA”) calls online gambling operators to express their interest in a license to offer online gambling in the Netherlands. This can be done as of 1 December 2014, through an online registration form available on the website of the KSA (http://www.kansspelautoriteit.nl/). In this manner, the KSA is able to keep interested operators informed of the course of the developments with regard to the licensing procedure. Furthermore, the KSA will ask online gambling operators to provide input on the licensing requirements via a public consultation in the course of January 2015. Information on the application procedure will follow soon on KSA’s website.

The Netherlands: delay legislation on online gambling

Richard van Schaik and Róbin de Wit

An official delay in the reformation of the Dutch games of chance market is a fact. Although the Netherlands is still aiming for the 1stof January 2015 for the proposed Dutch Remote Gambling Act to enter into effect, the expectation is that this estimated timeline might not be achieved due to the phases the bill still has to follow.

At present, the House of Representatives requested additional time for written debates. The deadline has been set on the 30th of October. After the House of Representatives has passed the bill, it will be notified to the Senate for written debates and a plenary hearing. The moment the Senate has adopted the bill, it will be officially published and will come into force. Operators that wish to be active on the Dutch market can then apply for a license.

Netherlands: standstill-period remote gambling legislation has ended, what’s next?

By Richard van Schaik and Róbin de Wit

On 5 March 2014, the 171 page-long text of the proposed Dutch Remote Gambling Act (“Act”) was notified to the European Commission. Now that the three-month standstill period at the European Commission has passed, the bill is to be sent to Parliament soon. Read the rest of this entry »

The Netherlands: national lottery announces to go online

By Richard van Schaik and Róbin de Wit

In the run-up to the legalization of the online gambling market in the Netherlands, the Staatsloterij has announced that it aims to offer new types of games on the internet soon. This news appears from the new strategy for coming years, which has been described in the lottery’s annual report for 2013.

The Netherlands are currently preparing to open their (online) gambling market to global competition in 2015 by means of a new Remote Gambling Act. As a result, it is expected that foreign providers will have the chance to obtain a license in 2015 if they meet the requirements under this upcoming legislation.

At present, the draft text of the proposed Dutch Remote Gambling Act has been notified to the European Commission. The draft could still change: it is just the starting point of the legislative process in the Netherlands. The expectation is that in June – after the three-month standstill at the EU commission has passed – the bill will be submitted to the House of Representatives for discussion after advice from the Council of State. Practice shows that the opinion of the Council of State is often followed and incorporated into the bill. Subsequently, it will be further debated in the Senate.

Netherlands: National lotteries wish to donate less to charity

Three Dutch lotteries currently holding a license for organizing charity lotteries (the Nationale Postcode Loterij, BankGiro Loterij and Vrienden Loterij have expressed their wish to pay less to charitable organizations. Given the expected opening of the Dutch online gambling market, current license holders fear for their income.

Yesterday, they requested the Dutch State Secretary of Justice a reduction of the compulsory charitable contribution from 50% to 40%.

The Dutch lotteries emphasize that lowering the deduction percentage is not necessarily detrimental to payments to charity. Firstly, less contribution means that a higher amount will be left for prizes, as a result of which lotteries will become more attractive to consumers. Consequently, the total turnover will increase. Secondly, the charitable contribution made by two other Dutch lotteries (State Lottery and De Lotto) of 16% respectively 18% will be brought to the same level of 40%.

This reduction is proposed in order to stay competitive, since Dutch government aims to reform the gambling market drastically. The Netherlands are currently preparing to open their (online) gambling market to global competition in 2015 by means of a new Remote Gambling Act. As a result, foreign providers will have the chance to obtain a license if they meet the requirements under this upcoming legislation. According to this new act providers may be required to make payments to charitable organizations in the form of a minimum contribution percentage (Article 31g). A number of foreign providers that hope to obtain a position in the Dutch gambling market already indicated that they are willing to donate a certain percentage of their revenue in the Netherlands to charitable causes (e.g. Tipp24 offered to donate 40%).

Please refer to our earlier blog regarding the current status of the proposed Dutch Remote Gambling Act: https://blogs.dlapiper.com/all-in/2014/03/07/netherlands-text-of-the-dutch-online-gambling-bill-published-earlier-than-expected/.

Should you require any further (detailed) information on the above, please do not hesitate to contact our DLA Gambling Team in the Netherlands – Richard van Schaik (richard.vanschaik@dlapiper.com), Prof. Jan Kabel (jan.kabel@dlapiper.com), and Róbin de Wit (robin.dewit@dlapiper.com).