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Netherlands Parliament: Remote Gambling Licenses PossiblePublished May 7, 2015 by Lee R
Realistic calculations will be made to increase the speed of Dutch licensure to meet growing demand.
200 Online Dutch Operators
The increased interest was suggested in the annual report of the Dutch Games of Chance Authority (“KSA”) in early April, which reported that over 200 new operators would be interested in application for licensing from KSA once Dutch regulation was implemented. Interest in application both in the report and in general expression has suggested that there would be an immediate high supply in services and availability of online gaming products and games in the Netherlands once the Dutch Remote Gambling Act is passed.
This implies a potentially huge upswell in tax revenues, which is at the heart of the new Parliamentary debates.
Online Gambling Tax Revenues
Specific issues in light of this development include whether the State Secretary can provide a realistic estimation of the expected market size of online gambling in the Netherlands; or whether a realistic calculation assessing gaming tax revenues in case of a uniform tax rate for both online and land based gambling is possible; as well as a realistic assessment of the degree of channeling to inform this new market size estimation in the case of said uniform tax rate.
Current government figures have attached a 20% tax rate to online gambling, which is lower than the current tax rate applicable to land-based operators (29%), with equalizing the rates being put forth as a suggestion for avoiding improper competition. Related channeling estimates are confused by the amount of players who might seek unregulated operators which tend to pay out higher percentage because of lower operating expenses, with two of those key expenses being the licensing fee and taxes that otherwise would be paid to local government by licensed operators.
Whatever is decided, it is safe to assume a decision will come quick as the eagerness of operators to obtain Dutch licenses represents tax benefits that have yet to be harnessed by the Dutch government.