EUROPE: Netherlands invite operators over; PMU lauds online; Playyoo and Lottomatica team up

Flag of European UnionDutch regulators are inviting firms interested in becoming licensed in the country over for a jolly later this month. The country that hosts the best coffee shops on the planet are inviting international gambling companies to The Hague on Jan. 28 to discuss how to go forward with their online gambling market. eGR report the letter has been signed by Netherlands Gaming Authority (NGA) board member Dr Paul Tang, with respondents asked to answer to a number of questions. They relate to what would be an acceptable tax rate, how many licences should be available, and issues surrounding player ID verification. Talk of a regulated market started back 2010 and off the bat it looked as though they would anger many with a French-style market including an auction of licences. Then last October, with H2 Gambling Capital estimating a regulated market would be worth as much as €233m by 2015, with the new plan a lot more favorable.

Former-French monopoly Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU) saw revenue rise 2.5 percent in 2012 to make it 15 consecutive years of growth for the firm’s horseracing operations. Online betting is now a huge part of the company’s operations and it was reflected in annual growth of 22.8 percent in turnover to €1.653billion and gross gaming revenues of €270.1million – up 16.2 percent. Mobile betting plus Euro 2012 and the Olympic Games meant sports betting wagers rose by 62 percent to €162.5m. Horse race betting online rose 11.1 percent to €972.1m with poker bucking France’s downward trend by posting an increase in amounts staked of 39 percent to €518m.

Playyoo has signed a deal to supply Lottomatica with mobile casino and slots games for their Italian Vegas Club brand. The Probability owned unit will provide the games as part of a two-year deal and they will be able to be played on Apple, Android and Blackberry phones and tablets. Probability CEO Charles Cohen added: “We are delighted tohave the opportunity to work with Lottomatica in Italy as their mobile