Dutch Govt Slammed Over Delay On Online Gambling Liberalization
The Dutch government has received a lot of criticism over its failure to liberalize the country’s online gambling market.
Jan Suyver, the outgoing Chairman of the country’s gambling regulator Kansspelauriteit (KSA), labelled it as a “disgrace” in an interview with local news media.
Suyver voiced his displeasure and said that in his six-year run as KSA Chairman, the government failed to keep pace with recent developments in the online gambling industry.
The liberalization of the country’s online gambling market has been a topic of discussion with the government as far back as 2012, yet proposed legislation on the issue remained untouched.
Suyver said Netherlands has been left out by other EU countries when it came to the regulating of online gambling markets. The Dutch Parliament’s two Protestant parties, the Christian Democratic Appeal and the Christian Union, are vocal critics of the market re-organization, going as far as blocking the proposed Remote Gambling Bill, which contributed to further delay.
On October 1, Jan Suyver and Vice Chairman Henk Kesler officially left their posts at the KSA. They have since been replaced by Rene Jansen and Bernadette van Buchem.
Proposed Bill To Provide Greater Powers To Regulator
The gambling law in Netherlands has remained unchanged for the past five decades. Gambling regulations had seen significant amendments before the rise of the Internet. Two years ago, the lower house of the Dutch Parliament approved the Remote Gambling Bill but the Senate is yet to make any significant progress on the Bill.
The legislation will enable international gambling firms to seek licences and operate in a regulated market. Under the legislation, the KSA will also acquire greater powers to impose penalties on operators who are found to have violated the rules.
KSA has been finding it hard to collect fines imposed on gambling operators as it currently doesn’t have enough powers. Mr Green and Betsson, online gambling operators based in Malta, have been slapped with massive fines but both companies are planning to appeal the penalties. The KSA still lacks power to impose punishment to erring operators, even with the intervention of the country’s courts.
Recent proposals will prohibit operators previously penalized by the regulator to apply for licences until the country’s online gambling market is fully regulated. The move has been discussed and is likely to be implemented, according to Dutch Minister for Justice and Security Sander Dekker.
The fate of the country’s online gambling market now lies in the hands of the Senate which needs to decide whether or not to pass the proposed gambling bill.