Vote on Dutch Remote Gaming Bill postponed
The vote on the Netherland’s Remote Gaming Bill has been postponed to February 19 after yesterday’s debate in the Senate.
The week delay will extend the passage of the Bill even further, which has been on-going since 2015. MPs debated the Bill and the Casino Reform Bill in the Senate yesterday, but the all-important vote will be delayed by a week.
Optimism that the Bill will pass is once again high. Last week, a plenary session discussing the bill was suspended, with lawmakers demanding clarification on three major issues from Minister Justice Sander Dekker.
However, with the debate going well, and enough support from political parties to pass the bill appearing to exist, the Bill’s passage looks very likely.
Central to the concern of MPs was whether operators who had operated illegally in the Dutch market would be allowed to gain a licence. Minister Dekker had addressed this issue as one of his written statements after last week’s plenary in the days building up to the debate, stating his view that operators must prove to be “reliable” before they can be awarded a licence. He said:
A license applicant who has actively offered online gambling services in the past will be able to remove doubt regarding its future reliability by showing good behavior during a consecutive period prior to the license application. During the debate on February 5, I have called this a “cooling down period.”–Sander Dekker, Minister Justice
The Dutch Labour Party proposed a two-year blackout period during yesterday’s debate, which Dekker voiced his support for, instead of a five-year period.
Dekker was also asked to clarify the situation around advertising restrictions. While he did not go so far to say that heavy advertising restrictions will be implemented, he pointed out that the regulator, KSA, would be granted powers to review advertising policy.
The vote is scheduled for next week, February 19. The Casino Privatisation Bill was also scheduled to be voted on, but it will be put on hold, as the legislation is reviewed.