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Netherlands-Facing Online Casinos Could Face Harsh Tax PoliciesPublished January 6, 2016 by Florin P
Online casinos serving Dutch players could pay higher than expected gambling tax, as changes to the country's Remote Gambling Bill are being pushed by the Dutch coalition.
The Dutch authorities have been trying for quite a while to regulate the online gambling environment, but progress was slow. In their quest of finding a fair tax rate for both land-based and online operators, they contemplated different possibilities. The new tax proposal however doesn’t look like a compromise at all, as online casinos could be taxed at 29%, just like their brick-and-mortar counterparts.
The members of the ruling parliamentary coalition made a few amendments to the Remote Gaming Bill and they now intend to impose a uniform tax for gambling. This action won’t have any effect whatsoever on land-based gambling operators, such as the industry leading Holland Casino. On the other hand, online casinos would be charged significantly higher, as they were initially supposed to pay a tax of only 20%.
A Potential Setback for Dutch Players
The main reason for why online casinos were supposed to be charged a tax of only 20% of their gambling revenue, was to encourage them to apply for a license. Punters are the main beneficiaries of playing at Dutch licensed casinos, as they would enjoy a secure environment. A 29% tax will have a detrimental effect and will only help internationally licensed operators who are cost competitive.
The news sent shockwaves among the online casinos currently catering for Dutch players, but also those interested in applying for a license. The legislators were quick to reassure these companies that if their calculations are correct, three years from now, the tax rate will be reduced to 25%, for all online casinos.
At least in theory, this will have a two-pronged effect, further boosting gambling revenue and bringing more money to state coffers. The Tweede Kamer is unlikely to schedule a vote for the first quarter of 2016 as was initially expected and these amendments will further delay the process of regulating the online industry.