An update on the Dutch Online Gambling Bill (delay and advertising)

The Minister for legal protection Mr. Dekker recently informed the Dutch Parliament about the status of the licensing procedure and the rules about advertisement for online gambling. In this short update we provide you with the latest information on these topics.

Start licensing procedure delayed
When the Dutch senate approved the online gambling bill, the government aimed for a licensing procedure which would start on 1 July 2020. The  Minister for legal protection Mr. Dekker informed the parliament that he will send the lower legislation, with the adjustments made in the public consultation, to the parliament in the beginning of 2020. Before this legislation can be approved the Advisory Board of the Raad van State needs to give their advice on this legislation. After this the Dutch Gambling Authority can be prepared to work with this legislation. Therefore the Minister is aiming for 1 January 2021 for the legislation to come into force.

The Minister informed the parliament that the government will implement the Notice-and-take-down-procedure as proposed in the Senate,  the so called Postema resolution. The Minister has the opinion that the current civil and criminal law possibilities are sufficient. The Minister stated that he expects that this measure will not be used very often. It will only be used if the online gambling providers are using unmistakably unlawful content. The legal downside of this procedure are the territorial limits in the use of this procedure

Prohibition of advertising  
The ‘resolution Van Dijk’ in the senate asked for a complete ban on advertising. The Minister states that he will not ban advertisement but he shares the concerns about the advertising for gambling. The Minister presented two research reports to the parliament. The conclusion of The Minister on these reports is that a complete ban will have serious negative effects on the channelization of online gambling and there is no strong connection between advertisement and the risks of gambling. The only weak connection there is exists between players and problem gamblers. In the lower legislation there are strict limitations in what is allowed regarding marketing. Would you like to hear more about the possibilities, please get in touch with us.

Exclusion of providers of illegal online games of chance  
In the ‘motion Postema’ the senate also asked the Minister to exclude parties who have targeted the Dutch market in a period of two years before their application for an online gambling license. The policy which confirmed these rules was published earlier. The Minister confirmed this policy again in his letter to the parliament. If you want to know if your current services could be a reason to exclude you from the license application, please get in touch with us.

SIGMA Malta   
If you have any questions in regard to the online gambling market in the Netherlands, or you received a fine or letter of the Dutch Gambling Authority, please let us know. We are also visiting the SIGMA conference in Malta. If you like to have a chat during SIGMA please send us an e-mail.


Mr. Lars Westhoff LL.M. 
Attorney at Law