On 20 August 2020, the Ministry of Justice and Security published (Dutch only) the latest version of the Remote Gambling Regulation (“Regulation”). This version of the Regulation follows a public consultation in the autumn of 2019, and a bumpy preliminary scrutiny procedure regarding the Decree during Q2 of 2020.
The Regulation is a piece of secondary legislation that belongs to the Remote Gambling Act (“Act”). The secondary legislation contains the implementation and further interpretation of the Act. The first part of the secondary legislation, being the Remote Gambling Decree (“Decree”), was published on 3 March 2020. The Decree includes provisions regarding, for example: licence application, the game system of licence holders, the prevention of money laundering and match-fixing, advertising, addiction prevention, and the protection of data. The now published Regulation further specifies those provisions.
At first glance, the text of the Regulation seems to have undergone some major modifications. Several new provisions have been added, such as a provision setting out the requirement for live casino games. Additionally, several provisions have been significantly modified, sucha as the prohibition to provide bonusses after responsible gambling measures have been taken. Before the complete text of the Regulation becomes final, the TRIS notification procedure will have to be completed. This procedure consist of a so-called “standstill period” of, in principle, three months. This period starts from the moment of submission of the new Regulation text. However, the Regulation has not been notified in full. On 12 August 2020, a selection of relevant Articles from the Regulation was notified to the European Commission. This consequently means the stand-still period for those provisions of the Regulation will end on 13 November 2020. The relevant provisions can still change as the European Commission and other EU Member States will study the notified document. However, significant revisions are not expected. As stated in our publication of 7 August 2020, the standstill period for the (full text of) the Act and the Decree ends on 9 October 2020.
The publication of the latest version of the Regulation is a major step towards the establishment of a full regulatory regime for the Dutch remote gambling market. However, it may not be smooth sailing until the remote gambling regime springs into force. The Ministry of Justice and Security states that limited delays are to be expected and a new entry into force date will soon be published. As we have previously discussed, we expect that the entry into force will be delayed until approximately March 2021. To be able to achieve this adjusted planning, a few steps must still be taken. One of those steps is the completion of the aforementioned TRIS notification procedure. Furthermore, the Dutch Council of State has to provide its opinion on the Decree. Other long-awaited information concerning the licence application procedure is the licence application form and the Netherlands Gambling Authority’s policy rule.
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