Netherlands Legislation to Favour Online OperatorsPublished August 20, 2014 by Mike P
The Netherlands is to apply 20% gross revenue tax on online gambling operators. Meanwhile, land-based casinos will pay nearly a third extra.
Back in July, the Dutch Council of Ministers agreed in principle to apply a tax of 20% on all gross revenue generated by online gambling operators. Bas Jongmans, an attorney with Gaming Legal, has spoken out against the proposed tax, complaining that it will be approximately a third lower than tax incurred by land-based casinos.
Gulf between Online and Offline
Speaking in an August interview, Jongmans took the time to express his misgivings about the situation. At the heart of his argument is his belief that foreign operators have used their power to influence government in the Netherlands. Consequently, Jongmans believes that the tax gulf between online and offline will only punish Dutch land-based operators.
Jongmans Representing Land-Based Casinos
Jongmans was upfront in explaining how he had been representing a collective of land-based casino operators for a little over eight years. Jongmans openly believes that the Dutch government has discriminated against his clients by favouring online operators. He argued that the domestic investment made by land-based casinos deserves positive recognition and subsequent concessions.
Before the government announcement, Henrik Tjärnström, CEO of Unibet, had spoken of his hopes for a 10% tax to be applied to online operators. Tjärnström will have been disappointed to see the tax on gross revenue to be double what he desired. In stark contrast, Dutch operators are furious to see such a favourable rate going to their newest competitors.
Future of the Bill
At present, the bill is still waiting to be voted into law by parliament. There is still a chance for amendments to be made once the politicians have considered its components. Jongmans, however, doesn’t believe that the bill will change significantly. In spite of the appealing tax rate, Jongmans believes that the online market will have minimal appeal and that the land-based casinos will also suffer.