Dutch government continues with gaming bill and demands physical presence of online operators

The political parties which will form the new Dutch government have published their agreement. In this agreement one paragraph is about online gaming. The new government demands physical presence of an online operator with a Dutch license.

Physical presence online operators

The agreement of the parties do not tell us more at this moment, only the obligation that the online operator has ‘some physical presence in the Netherlands’. Would a Dutch branch be sufficient, is a Dutch legal entity needed, or is a land based arcade needed? At this moment it is not clear in which form the government would like to see this ‘physical presence’.

European law

At this moment, we have severe doubt about the question if this obligation (depending of the details) will be in accordance with European law. We refer to recent jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice (Unibet/Hongary), in which (briefly saying) is stated that systems which excludes parties established/located in other EU-countries are a possible infringement on 54 TFEU.

Online gaming bill

The good news is that the new government will continue the work to regulate online gaming. Recently there was an announcement of Mr Kesler of the Dutch Gaming Authority (KSA) that the Dutch (online) gaming law can be expected by 1st of January 2019. The bill is now at the senate to be discussed. We will keep a eye on all developments, new rules and policies with regard to this gaming bill.

Dutch specialist in (online) gaming and gambling

Any questions or do you want to know more? Please do not hesitate to contact us. We will keep you informed.

Mr Lars Westhoff LL.M.
Attorney at Law