A majority Dutch Senate has finally approved the proposal for a new online gambling law. The political parties VVD, D66, PVV, PvdA and GroenLinks were in favor of the plan. This is enough to have a majority in the Senate. It means that online gambling will become legal in the Netherlands. What effect will it have on the gambling market?
Time is needed
The fact that the proposal has been accepted, doesn’t mean that games of chance will be legal in the Netherlands immediately. It will take some time to implement a new law. What’s more, the Gambling Authority has announced that it will take at least one and a half years before the first licenses are given to gaming operators. So you need to have some patience if you love an online gamble of Blackjack or Roulette.
Conditions to obtain a permit
Several conditions to obtain a permit will be worked out in the near future. It is clear, however, that providers must meet strict conditions in order to enter the legal online gambling market. For example, there must be strict supervision of gamblers, so that the risk of addiction can be kept to a minimum. Providers that have focused on the Dutch gambling market without a license in the last two years have no chance on getting a license.
No longer dependent on illegal circuit
Because of the decision of the Senate, providers of online games of chance are no longer dependent on the illegal circuit. It took years of discussion to reach this point. Almost eight years ago, the then State Secretary Teeven (Security and Justice) proposed to allow gambling on the internet under supervision. That proposal was politically sensitive for a long time. Especially Christian parties did not see any benefit in legalization and still not approve. They fear more enthusiasm and therefore more gambling addicts.
How many Dutch people gamble?
The parties who agreed with the new law are satisfied that the very outdated Betting and Gaming Act (Wok) will finally be modernized. In the Netherlands, the number of online gamblers is growing rapidly. According to a research of Motivaction, conducted on behalf of Holland Casino, about 1.8 million Dutch people sometimes play games of chance on the internet. Two thirds of the frequent players say they prefer to play with a legal provider. More than enough reason to let participants play with supervision in the near future, instead of playing at an illegal provider, the majority of the Senate thinks.