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March 16, 2011 News & Reports

by Justin Franssen and Frank Tolboom

Things are currently moving rapidly in the Dutch gaming market  due to both political and legal developments. The new Dutch  government indicated that it might introduce a licensing regime for remote gambling, and very recently a sell-off of state-owned Holland Casino was suggested by the state secretary of finance in Parliament.

In addition, legal cases are pending regarding the compatibility of the Dutch gaming policy with EU law and the qualification of poker  as a game of chance or skill.

Current Legal Framework
The legal basis of the Dutch gaming policy can be found in the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act of 1964 (“Gaming Act”). The Gaming  Act stipulates that offering games of chance or promoting games of  chance without a license is prohibited. It also includes an enumeration of the specific games for which a license can be granted. The Gaming Act allows for exclusive licenses for a state lottery, good causes’ lotteries, instant lotteries, sports betting, lotto,
horse betting and casinos (including offline poker). Holland Casino is the exclusive licensee for casino gambling, while De Lotto holds the exclusive right for sports betting, instant lotteries (scratch cards) and  the lotto. Currently, the only types of licenses available are those  expressly stated in the Gaming Act and no remote gambling licenses  are available.



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