An Overview of Dutch Gambling Laws – 2020 Review

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Until recently, the Netherlands placed restrictions on online gambling, causing other international gambling sites to offer their Netherland customers their services without a license. This restriction placed on the Netherlands caused the government to make some alterations and create secondary gambling laws.

The Netherlands has some policies against gambling, hence creating some laws to cut off some of the extensions of gambling. The Netherlands covers some common issues in gambling regulations and laws. These issues include an application for a license, digital media, authorities and legislation, enforcement and liability, and lots more.

Gamblers, gambling sites, gambling agents, and all gambling bodies should take note of these laws as they are bound to it. These laws are to ensure the guidance and smooth running of gambling activities. Here is an overview of Dutch gambling laws.

Dutch Gambling Laws

There are different categories of gambling regulations and laws guiding gamblers. Some of the categories for gambling regulations include:

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  • Application for license and license restriction.
  • Relevant legislation and authority.
  • Enforcement and liability
  • Digital media.
  • Anticipated reforms.

Application for License and License Restriction

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There are laws binding gambling licenses, so not all gambling activity is licensed or allowed. There are certain restrictions on gambling activities in the Netherlands. Gambling sites like iDealeCasinos are bound to these restrictions.

There is no license for remote gambling of any kind. However, there is a license for some gambling games via e-commerce in which the internet serves as an additional sales channel. Examples of gambling licensed under this category include casino games, slot machines, sports betting, state lottery, horse-race betting, lotto, poker, etc.

These games are either permanently or semi-permanently licensed. Examples of permanently licensed gambling include state lottery and casino gaming. In comparison, the semi-permanently licensed gambling includes lotto, horse-race betting, sports betting, and instant lottery. There are several licensed non-incidental games of chance, which include some lottery games.

There are no licensing procedures for a state lottery and casino gaming because of their definite licensing. As for the semi-permanent ones, there are specific procedures to follow to obtain a license.

In addition to the licensing policy, there are restrictions on gambling stakes. There are maximum and minimum stakes for the gambling games, which must not be exceeded.

Relevant Legislation and Authorities

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There are several gaming authorities that regulate gambling activity in every jurisdiction. These gaming authorities prohibit some gambling activities and allow some in other jurisdictions. As long as the game is considered a game of chance, it should comply with relevant authorities. If a game features these two characteristics, it is referred to as a game of chance;

  • If the game provides the participant with a prize to win, and
  • If the winner is chosen by a means that doesn’t allow players to show dominance through their abilities.

For enacting the authorities’ legislation for gamblers, policy documents were drafted for the purpose. Some of the drafted policy documents include;

  • Code of conduct for games of chance.
  • Fining policy for remote gambling.
  • Guidance on Anti Money Laundering (AML).
  • Guidance on gambling advertising.
  • Policy rules for a non-incidental lottery license.

These policies and documents act as guidance for gambling activities in the Netherlands.

Enforcement and Liability

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Offering an unlicensed game or unlicensed advertising game of chance attracts a specific amount of fine. Whether non-local or local entities, you violate the Betting and Gaming Act (BGA) if you advertise or offer unlicensed games of chance. The service provider can receive a fine that can accumulate to a huge amount of £830,000 which is the maximum amount.

If the fine exceeds this maximum amount, there are additional systems of obtaining the fine. Even with the unlawfulness of remote gambling, there are still quite many markets existing. There are enforcement agencies that operate employing administrative laws to enforce the law.

The enforcement is directed towards operators that offer gambling games through the following means;

  • It is using a website with ‘nl’ as its domain extension.
  • A website is running in the Dutch language.
  • Making use of media advertisements directed to the Netherlands.

Gambling debts are not enforced for unlicensed gambling under the BGA unless there is a fraud, scam, or deceit.

Digital Media

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Although there is a prohibition for remote gambling, there are also restrictions for e-commerce and digital media gambling through the land-based offer. There are restrictions on relevant products supplied through digital media or online means. Fixed-odds betting terminals or similar terminal-based betting games are not permitted in any jurisdiction of the Netherlands.

Anticipated Reforms

Many people anticipate several reforms to the policies and regulations guiding gambling in the Netherlands. The Senate adopted the Remote Gambling Act (RGA) on the 19th day of February 2019. There is much expectation as it is set to enter into force on the 1st day of July 2020, with the first-ever remote gambling granted on the 1st day of January 2021.

Some of the anticipated reforms include the RGA amending the BGA to introduce a framework licensing and regulating remote gambling. The Decree will establish other requirements on the remote games of chance and the regulation on the remote games of chance.

According to the government of the Netherlands, the amendment policy approval is certain. However, licensing and regulating remote gambling also has some key elements that govern the regulatory regimes. These key elements include;

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  • The licenses will only be valid for a maximum of five years until further reform.
  • There will be no limit on the number of licenses available.
  • The expected licensing fee will be £45,000.
  • The Netherlands Gambling Authority (NGA) will assess the license application for six months and probably extend it for another six months.
  • There will only be two types of license; the license for casino games and the license for sports-betting. Spread betting, and non-sport betting will be not licensable.

Conclusion

The laws and regulations guiding gambling in the Netherlands entail the remote gambling act, the enforcement, obtaining license or permit, gambling reforms, and lots more. As an operator for a game of chance, you should get a license for your business to avoid the administrative fine.

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