Wednesday July 2,2014 : REGULATED DUTCH ONLINE GAMBLING DELAYED?
Lawyer says it could be end 2015 before new regime is in operation.
Political differences over an appropriate tax rate for online gambling in the Netherlands could delay the operational debut of the new regulatory and licensing regime in the EU country by as much as a year, lawyer Ewout Keuleers has opined.
Dutch lawmakers have taken over three years to reach agreement on the right framework for the national regulation of online gambling, and a draft Remote Gambling Bill is currently before the country's parliament awaiting final approval.
However, the tax question appears to have thrown a spanner in the works as the Dutch Labor Party agitates for an equal tax rate for both land and remote gambling, and threatens to withdraw its support if it is not granted.
The delays could push back the operational debut of the new system – currently envisaged for early next year – by as much as a year.
Keuleers, an experienced and well-connected gaming law expert, expects that the bill will now only be approved by the second quarter of 2015, and that all the ancillary elements such as the licensing process could take until the end of 2015.
Dutch lawmakers are already calling for a 20 percent of GGR tax rate, which Unibet chief executive Henrik Tjärnström says will only encourage Dutch online punters to use "grey market" unlicensed operators. He has suggested that a 10 percent rate is more realistic and fair, a viewpoint supported by Keuleers, who believes that a 10 percent rate will make the Dutch online gambling market more positively dynamic and sustainable.