Dutch Market Grinds Forward with a New Vote and Surprise Marathon Parliamentary Session

Lee R. - February 7, 2019

Dutch legislation remains deliberate, but hope for a final vote is in sight.

The Dutch Senate reconvened once again to review its legislation model.

New Round of Official Debate

Yesterday, the finer points of the oft-delayed Remote Gambling Bill were re-opened for debate with many international operators eagerly awaiting a regulated Dutch market.

Previously approved in the Dutch House of Representatives, the bill reportedly made slight progress towards a Senate vote, which is the next step in the approvals process.

Inching Towards Majority Support

Gaming in Holland's live tweets from the Senate debate indicated the Remote Gambling Bill started to gain majority support in the upper house of the Dutch Parliament before a surprising twist took place that extended discussion late into the night.

Delay Tactic?

In what some saw as a filibustering move, Senate lawmakers put forth three questions for Dutch Minister for Legal Protection and long-time regulation proponent Sander Dekker to provide written answers to regarding the re-organization of the nation’s gambling market.

The Tough Questions

The pointed questions included a specific explanation on definition of the term “illegal operator” and clarification of the legal basis upon which operators can be excluded from the local gambling market. The second question called upon Minister Dekker to present more stringent measures addressing gambling advertising on websites and social media define the legal basis upon which such measures could be implemented.

The third question requires the Minister to point out the specific measures “grounded” in the Netherlands’ administrative law which would block illegal gambling websites once the market is reorganized, with all answers required by Friday, ostensibly for the bill to continue moving forward.

Senate Not Obstinate

This is not to suggest that the Senate is not willing to move forward, but the sense is that there are some more specific restrictions which the Senate specifically has in mind for regulating iGaming in the Netherlands.

More Senatorial Measures

It is rumoured the Senate will insist on further measures such as the introduction of a blackout period for companies that have already been servicing Dutch customers, with subjected companies prohibited from applying for and obtaining licenses from local regulators for a certain period of time as penalty for violating previous rules.

Advertising Restrictions

The Senate also is believed to be seeking to implement online advertising restrictions on regulated gambling services that apply as far as social media, which jibes with general trends across Europe right now.

Blocking Provision

The Senate is also seeking some kind of blocking provision requiring local Internet service providers to impose the block unlicensed sites.

Next Chance for Approval

The next discussion will come up in the Dutch Senate next Tuesday February 12th, at which time Minister Dekker’s written replies will be reviewed, along with the first possibility of a vote on the Remote Gambling Bill.



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