WILL DUTCH ONLINE GAMBLING BE LEGALIZED BY 2018?
 
Politicians are still delaying progress with more questions.
 
Reports from the Netherlands indicate that progress toward online gambling legalization, already agonizingly slow over the past few years, is again being held up by political questions raised in the Senate last week.
 
The relevant legislative draft was submitted to parliament in June this year after repeated delays, and later passed the Lower House  before being advanced to the Senate, where it awaits a vote.
 
However, the questions raised last week will have to be addressed before that and involve queries on the likelihood that the legalization process will channel the estimated 80 percent of local players to Dutch-regulated websites, and the exclusion of online lottery sales from the provisions of the draft bill.
 
The Senate has no powers of amendment on the bill and must vote yea or nay, hopefully before March next year. Regulatory processes and implementation will likely take the effective legalization of online gambling into early 2018.
 
The heavy taxation in the bill appears to remain unchanged at 29 percent of GGR to ensure it aligns with taxes imposed on land gambling operators.