Regulation of online gambling in countries across the whole continent of Europe is likely to be feverish again in the coming year with governments attempting to siphon off as much tax as possible. The Netherlands is no exception, and today’s news signals a momentous shift towards online over land-based gaming.
According to DutchNews.nl, the government is planning to sell the gambling monopoly, Holland Casino, right off the back of winning the International Gaming Award for Socially Responsible Operator this time last week. Whether it was the partying in London they couldn’t take or the squabbling between eGR and CalvinAyre.com reminding them of their own marital problems, the monopoly wants out of the gambling game.
Junior Finance Minister, Frans Weekens, at a debate over privatization, told MPs: “We are looking at privatization. It is not taboo.”
With 14 operations in the Netherlands and contributing €164m to the state coffers, Holland Casino is no small fry, and it was added that there are a number of strict regulations that any operator will have to comply with. These have to do with counteracting gambling addiction and money laundering, making sure a private monopoly doesn’t operate, and offering customers a ready supply of de hashish!
This is another case of online trumping the land-based sector, however, when regulation does take place in the low country it’s believed that it will be similar to France’s idea of fun – which is quite frankly about as fun as stabbing yourself in the eye with a dart.
The new gambling regulations are likely to be released in March when we should have a better idea of whether ring-fenced/balkanization is the approach the Dutch will take.