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The Gambling Act KoA 3745

The Gambling Act KoA

Remote Gambling - How a charged law finally became a reality after years

This year the time has finally come. casino login holders, gamblers and everyone in between have had to wait years for it, but online gambling will finally become legal in 2021. The road to get there has been one of bumps, thresholds and obstacles. In this article you will learn everything about the Gaming and Betting Act, from the beginning until now.

Do you know that the first, and also only, Gambling Act that we had until recently dates from 1964? And that, on the basis of that law, decisions were made for years on a gambling sector that was nothing like the sector of the 1960s? The Netherlands had one of the most backward laws in all of Europe when it came to gambling, and despite all the arguments to regulate the sector, the government was unable to reach a unifying law that everyone agreed on. And even when that law was passed, we had to wait years for the law to finally take effect. But now the time has come. We are on the eve of a new chapter in the Dutch gambling world. How did we get to this point? In this article, we'll cover everything, from start to finish, about the Gaming and Betting Act and online gambling in the Netherlands.

In the beginning of casino logins in the Netherlands

To understand how special it is that we are getting a new online gambling law this year, we have to go back in time to see how outdated the previous law was. That law dates from 1964, and its main purpose was to regulate sports betting and lotteries.

casino logins already existed, although they weren't as big as they are now, and of course online casino logins we hadn't heard of at all. The Gambling Act in 1964 mainly ensured that lotteries were given more options with regard to organizing draws and that, for example, the football photo became legal. This has always remained the case: sports betting has been the only legal way of gambling in the Netherlands for years.

What was not yet legal under the 1964 law was casino login games like roulette and the well-known slot machines. This quickly changed: in 1969 the law was amended so that machines also fell under the law, which resulted in many catering establishments having a fruit machine installed in their business..

When online casino logins made their appearance in the mid-1990s, however, they ended up in a gray area in the Netherlands. Online gambling was so unknown that it was not immediately illegal, but that changed when it turned out that many of the online casino login holders were based in tax-friendly countries. Since then, online gambling has been banned in the Netherlands, although the ban was not strictly enforced in the beginning. With regard to the ban, the Netherlands was, however, a lot behind other countries.

 The timeline of the KoA law so far


  1.   In the coalition agreement of 2012 (Rutte II) the first intention was to legalize online casino logins, the idea was to finalize the law in 2015; 
  2.   2014, the Council of Ministers approves the first draft proposal;
  3.   Between 2014 and 2016 several debates were held about the new KoA law, addiction experts, the KSA, everyone wanted to have their say;
  4.   Law passed by the 2nd Chamber in 2016;
  5.   Finally! In February 2019, the 1st chamber finally adopts the law;
  6.    The first applications came in in 2020, legal online gambling is knocking at the door
games of chance authority timeline 3

Timetable for granting online gambling licenses

How about gambling in other countries?

In many European neighboring countries, the regulation of the online gambling market was already a lot further. In Belgium, for example, it was decided that every online casino login should have a sister location in the offline world. In other words, any company with a gambling license could commit to an online casino login. As a result, there are not many online casino logins in Belgium, but it is at least legal and in some sense nationalized..

Another neighbor that is way ahead in the legalization of online gambling is the United Kingdom. They understood that it is important to have a regulator who sets high quality standards for new online casino logins that want to enter the market, and who imposes sanctions in accordance with those requirements if licensees do not comply. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has become a household name in the online casino login world and if a casino login has a license from this committee, it is explicitly advertised to be able to radiate transparency and security..

But countries such as Germany, Italy and Denmark have also legalized online gambling. One of the countries where online gambling has only recently been legalized, and what has been a leading example for the Netherlands, is France. Here, the online gambling market was only opened in 2010, which, according to gambling authorities in the southern European country, has led to a safer market, but also to an increase in taxes for the French government - in their own words in the hundreds of millions.!

You would think it was high time for legalization in the Netherlands!

The first draft of the new Gaming and Betting Act

As the online gambling market grew, it became clear how outdated the old gambling law was and that a new law actually needed to be introduced to legalize the online gambling market in the Netherlands..

This initiative was first taken under the cabinet of Rutte II, which published a coalition agreement at the end of 2012 that stated the intention that a law should be developed that would regulate online casino logins within three years. A new watchdog would be established, Holland casino login would be divested as a state-owned company and new steps would also be taken to combat gambling addictions. You could say that the good energy was there.

In addition to online gambling, it was about regulating poker events, sports betting and reducing casino logins that operate illegally or are funded by dark money flows. Players, casino logins, experts could have their say in the first round of drafting a new bill, a separate lobby association was set up under government supervision (something that would later prove badly needed).

Earlier that year, the Games of Chance Authority (KSA) was established as an independent body that provides advice to the government, combats illegal providers and both helps and regulates legal licensees. The first sketches about gambling tax were put on paper, and the debate about legalization of online gambling erupted in the Netherlands. Because although the VVD was in the government and was therefore co-designer of the coalition agreement, it would turn out to be quite the bear on the road at a later stage. The desire to have all online gambling games regulated from 2015 onwards soon turned out to be vain hope. Gaming Authority legalization of online gambling 2 

The debate surrounding the Gaming and Betting Act

After the Council of Ministers approved a draft proposal for the new gambling law in 2014, the debate erupted. Everyone wants to have something to say about the forthcoming law. Addiction experts argue in opinion pieces that it will cause a new wave of gambling addicts, while criminologists say that the sting is removed from illegality thanks to the regulation.

Members of parliament who sit on committees surrounding the games of chance law are bombarded with lobbyists. The stakes are high. Foreign online casino logins want to be there when the market opens, national lotteries would rather see the proposal become a reality today than tomorrow. It is said to be one of the most vehement lobbies of recent years.

In addition to the rational advantages and disadvantages of a legalized gambling market, some parties are also about principles. More right-wing, originally religious parties find the legalization of gambling incompatible with their moral compass and are fundamentally against it. The debate is conducted from the trenches of party promises, and the progress of the legalization of the law is in danger of being delayed. One of the parties that is most vehemently against the new law is the ChristenUnie. Supported by addiction clinic Jellinek, they are campaigning fiercely against the gambling law. Although the realization quickly sets in that a complete ban will not work in view of the large social support, everything is done to make the threshold as high as possible. The debate is being conducted at the cutting edge, also with other parties, and mainly focuses on three parts of the Gaming and Betting Act..

Problem 1: Tax

One of the biggest points of discussion about the new gambling law is the gambling tax that must be levied. Offline casino logins, such as Holland casino login, for example, pay 29% gambling tax - an amount that ultimately ends up with the players in these casino logins.

In the original bill, written in the time of VVD State Secretary Fred Teeven, there is talk of a gambling tax of 20%. This is met with heavy opposition from the arcades and Holland casino login itself, which speaks of unfair competition. After all, one gambling provider may offer the same type of games for a lot less tax.

Tax revenues due to new gambling law

When Klaas Dijkhof becomes the new State Secretary, the gambling tax will immediately become a topic that is hotly debated. Dijkhoff sees opportunities for the treasury on the one hand and how raising the gambling tax can generate more income, but also shares the dissatisfaction of offline providers about unfair competition. A new plan states that all gambling providers, online and offline, must pay the same rate: 29%.

All calculations regarding the draft law are made with the idea that around seventy percent of Dutch players will soon switch to a legal gambling market. However, according to lobbyists and online casino login providers, a tax rate of 29% will prevent casino logins from having enough income to promise players a high payout percentage. Based on that information, it can be calculated how many players will transfer later. After all, a higher payout percentage means more players.

Some major international players are joining the debate. Unibet announces that it wants to sponsor the Dutch cycling union, but those plans only appear to be part of a national lobby. As a condition for this sponsorship, Unibet demands, that it is at the forefront of legalization to be able to enter the market, that the gambling tax should be reduced to 20%, or even to 10%. According to their calculations, the costs, given the requirements for addiction care and marketing, are a lot higher. In the final proposal, the gambling tax of 29% has been retained, but players no longer pay gambling tax on their winnings.

Tricky point 2: Addiction

Another point where the PvdA is particularly concerned, supported by clinics and scientists, is the element of addiction care. By offering online gambling games, it becomes more difficult for people who are sensitive to addictions or have (had) a gambling addiction to get rid of that addiction. Very strict measures must therefore be taken to combat such addictions, something in which the Gaming Authority must play a major role..

Various organizations provide their input and eventually there is a consensus on the role that online casino logins should play to prevent their players from becoming addicted. First of all, from the registration to the playing, it must be explicitly monitored what kind of player is involved. For example, when creating his or her profile, a player can indicate the maximum amount that is played per time, per day or per week. If a player bets a lot or often - and in particular loses a lot - then a casino login must be able to intervene, by issuing warnings or eventually (temporarily) excluding a player.

Online casino logins must also deposit an annual amount in a national fund that combats gambling addictions. There must also be a register that includes notorious problem gamblers, to prevent them from registering at another site at the exclusion of a casino login. Via the online casino login website, they must also be given the opportunity to obtain extensive information about the danger of addictions and the possibilities for addiction treatment. 

Heikel point 3: Advertising

The third issue that is hotly debated is the possibility of advertising online gambling. According to the more right-wing parties, advertising leads to more online gamblers, and thus more addictions. However, an argument from the government to legalize the gambling market is the degree of channeling, the number of people who switch from the illegal sector to the legal sector. This must be around 70 to 80% and the government fears that if permit holders are not allowed to advertise, that percentage will not be achieved.

In the first draft of the Gaming and Betting Act, in line with the principles of the Gaming Authority, it is established that no advertising may be made at all. This is adjusted after many different lobbies. For example, restrictions will mainly apply instead of bans.

For example, online casino login providers are only allowed to advertise at set times, which means that there should be no advertising on radio or television between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. to prevent younger, more vulnerable audiences from coming into contact with the advertisement. Popular athletes, influencers and other celebrities may also not be used for such advertisements, again to spare the younger target groups. During major sporting events, the number of gambling ads is limited to ensure that any spike in addictions is counteracted.

Ready to play now? This is legal at these casino logins:

Ready to play now? This is legal at these casino logins:

Votes in the House of Representatives

After there is increasing consensus among policymakers about what the new Gaming and Betting Act should look like, votes will follow in the House of Representatives, albeit with an enormous delay. Where the original target date when the coalition agreement was published in 2012 was to legalize online gambling in 2015, it was still debated in the House of Representatives at the beginning of 2016..

State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff is the person who puts the bill to the vote, with the definitive rules on gambling tax, addiction care and advertising rules. Every party seems to care about the law based on party principles: the D66 about the privacy rules and protection of private rules of players, the PvdA about addiction care, the VVD about taxes and the ChristenUnie and the SGP about the fact that the Netherlands intends to play games of chance at all. legalize.

Nevertheless, the law is passed in July 2016 in the House of Representatives. Parties such as PvdA, Groenlinks, D66, PVV and the VVD vote in favor, as a result of which the law is forwarded to the Senate.

Votes in the Senate

It is in the Senate that the bill is really delayed. After all, the law has been passed and the Senate should normally do nothing more than assess whether the law satisfies the legal requirements of a bill. Politics should play a much less role here. That turns out not to be the case.

The Senate is a collection of lobbyists, as is shown again in the discussion of the Gaming and Betting Act. Some senators were part of the lottery lobbying against the Gaming and Betting Act. Lotteries saw competition intensify with the new law and used people like Alexander Rinnooy Kan (D66) to lead this lobby. While it was usually the case with laws that a vote in the Senate turned out to be just a formality, in the case of the online gambling law that is not the case.

The law is not yet passed, because there are a lot of questions about the aforementioned tricky points. The government has to answer the questions and the law is getting more and more delayed. When the government has responded in various phases to what the Senate sees as stumbling blocks, a vote will finally be taken in February 2019. The law is passed and seems to have taken its last hurdle. According to the schedule, applications must be submitted from online casino logins from 2020, in order to open the market a few months later. But the Games of Chance Act would not be the Games of Chance Act if a delay occurs even at that stage.

Applying for new online casino logins

The Gaming Authority expects that dozens of online gambling providers from the Netherlands and abroad will submit an application for a gambling license. The demands are high. In addition to the aforementioned requirements regarding addiction care and privacy protection, it is also examined whether a company that submits an application has not offered gambling games illegally in an earlier phase..

In addition, a license application must be submitted for a value of $ 45,000 (an amount that will not be refunded if the license is rejected), plus a financial guarantee of more than $ 800,000. In order to be able to check everything properly, according to the Gaming Authority, applications may only be submitted from 1 July 2019. A number of additional requirements will be added to this in November 2019.

It ensures that it takes longer and longer to process applications, especially since the Senate is tightening up the law through a number of motions surrounding the advertising ban and addiction care. These motions cannot be seen in isolation from the lobbying interests of some Senate members, but do ensure that now that the Gaming and Betting Act has entered into force on 1 January 2021, an online casino login cannot operate.

Because of the new requirements, the Gaming Authority has announced that they will need at least until July to assess applications and grant a license. In addition, providers who have offered gambling games in the past when it was still illegal should be re-examined, with definitive exclusion or a temporary cooling-off period as a possible consequence..

The future of the online gambling sector

Almost ten years after the Rutte II cabinet indicated that it wanted to legalize the online gambling sector, the Rutte III cabinet has already fallen, Fred Teeven is now a bus driver and the Holland casino logins in the Netherlands have been closed for months due to a raging pandemic..

The world has changed, but one thing has not changed yet: we still cannot gamble online in the Netherlands, despite the fact that the law has been enacted. But although we have regularly been able to speak of good hope and a light at the end of the tunnel, there really seems to be nothing at all in the way of an open gambling market from mid-2021..

The importance of legalizing the online gambling market in the Netherlands should not be underestimated. It is a misconception to think that people will gamble more because of a legal market, the only difference is that one goes from illegality to the legal sector. This has several advantages: problem gamblers are better monitored and offered help, addictions are being tackled more actively, and the criminal sector is tackled more harshly. Let's add to that the expected hundreds of millions in tax revenue and you wonder why it took so long before we could legally gamble online in the Netherlands.

With the development of the online gambling sector and our increasing dependence on the internet, acceptance and regulation is only a logical step. A step that the Netherlands has now taken, as one of the last countries in Europe. It has taken longer than in most European countries. Let's hope all the patience was worth it and we get an online gambling market that is qualitatively above the rest of the countries!

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Frequently asked questions about KoA
The remote games of chance law raises quite a few questions, we will answer the most important ones for you:

Due to some new rules and a large number of applications, the implementation of the law has been delayed. Although the law has taken effect on January 1, it is estimated that the first Dutch online casino logins will open from July 2021.

Part of the Gaming and Betting Act is that enforcement is stricter on illegal casino logins. If your favorite online casino login does not have a license, there is a chance that their website will be taken offline in the Netherlands.

Part of the Gaming and Betting Act is that players no longer pay profit tax. On the other hand, online casino logins have to pay 29 percent profit tax.

Very simple: if the online casino login operates in the Netherlands from July, you can assume that it complies with the regulations. After all, anyone who operates without a license risks a hefty fine and exclusion from the market.

Part of a regulated market is that there will be more government supervision. This means that you can enlist the help of, for example, the Gaming Authority if you cannot reach an agreement with the online casino login.

Part of the Gaming and Betting Act is that the websites that store people's privacy data must be extremely secure. When applying for a license, casino logins must be able to demonstrate that they have this security in order.

On the website of the Gaming Authority, when the market is estimated to open on July 1, a list of all casino logins that have received a license and are therefore allowed to operate legally will be published..

You are officially excluded from the Dutch market when you are abroad. You are governed by the laws of the country where you live. However, you could still try to gamble in a Dutch online casino login via a VPN connection!