Taxation Without Regulation? Betsson Formally Files EU Complaint Against KSAPublished July 10, 2017 by Lee R
Betsson calls fines levied by the Netherlands against Dutch-facing operators an extension of a 2006 violation.
A prominent iGaming operator is formally taking exception to the Netherland’s legislative regulation process.
Licenced EU operator Betsson has requested that the European Commission re-open infringement proceedings against the Netherlands. In a detailed letter, Betsson laid out what they claimed are continued and flagrant breaches of EU law on the part of the Dutch authority.
Infringement Proceedings Requested
Betsson President and CEO Ulrik Bengtsson further announced:
“The current law in the Netherlands is not in line with EU law and we have therefore asked the Commission to re-open the infringement proceedings that were initiated against the Netherlands in 2006.”
The final straw leading to Betsson’s request was apparently the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) regulatory body’s announcement of its intention to expand the list of unauthorised online operators subject to KSA penalties for serving Dutch customers.
Betsson cited the recent ruling by the Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) de-authorizing a convoluted Hungarian gambling regime from imposing any penalties against online operators licensed in other EU states, calling out KSA for similar “continued failure to implement an EU compliant legal framework.”
The Rule in Question
Article 56 of the Treaty and Functioning of the European Union prohibits member states from engaging in protectionist interference with cross-border trade. The Netherlands originally was restricted in 2006 for violating Article 56, and were lifted by the EC after the Netherlands committed to development of a new more compliant regime.
Current Regulation Progress
Ultimately, the regulation process in the Netherlands has slowed to a crawl, with continued differences in opinion between legislators and other stakeholders in the Netherlands giving rise to projections of a functional regulation model taking effect anywhere from H2 2018 at the earliest to HR 2019.
In the interim, there has been no proportional delay in KSA restriction practices, as the KSA has continued identifying violators and handing out fines to Dutch-facing operators in an as-yet-to-be-regulated Dutch online environment.
The KSA will have to defend itself against the increasing appearance with each fine to be enforcing the same policies it was found in violation of in 2006, even while awaiting the legislation of a new more compliant regulation model.