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Dutch licence for online gambling

From 2021 onwards, operators will be able to obtain a licence to offer online games of chance (remote games of chance) to Dutch consumers. Below, we explain the licence application procedure and how Kalff Katz & Franssen can assist you in this process.

LICENCE TO OFFER ONLINE GAMES OF CHANCE (REMOTE GAMES OF CHANCE)

The current legislation, the Betting and Gambling Act (Wet op de kansspelen), provides no basis for offering online games of chance. That is why the Dutch government drafted a legislative proposal, the Remote Gambling Act (Wet Kansspelen op afstand). After a long parliamentary process, this Act was passed by the Dutch Senate in February 2019. According to the planning of the Dutch government, this new Act will enter into force in the spring of 2021.

Interested parties will therefore be able to obtain a Dutch licence under which they can offer games of chance to Dutch consumers via the Internet. These parties must comply with many rules and pay betting and gambling tax. Ultimately, Dutch consumers will be able to choose from a large variety of operators with whom they can place their bets online.

THE PROCEDURE

The Netherlands Gambling Authority will introduce a licence allocation procedure for granting remote gambling licences. The Netherlands Gambling Authority strives to issue the first licences six months after the entry into force of the Remote Gambling Act. At that time, the Dutch regulated market for online games of chance will be opened for the first licence holders.

The licence allocation procedure will commence with the entry into force of the Remote Gambling Act. From that time onwards, interested parties will be able to submit a licence application. It will not be easy to obtain a licence. The Dutch government has indicated that the regulation of online games of chance will be one of the most demanding regulations in the world. Strict requirements regarding consumer protection, addiction prevention and combatting criminality must be complied with.

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has indicated that applications must be submitted digitally and in the Dutch language. An application will cost EUR 45,000. This is the fee to be paid to the Netherlands Gambling Authority for the application alone.

Interested parties can apply for a licence to organise four types of remote games of chance:

  • Casino games in which the players play against the licence holder (roulette and blackjack, for example).
  • Casino games in which the players play against each other (poker, for example).
  • Bets on events occurring during a sporting contest or on the outcome of a sporting contest
  • Bets on the outcome of horse racing and harness racing

CONDITIONS FOR LICENCE APPLICATION

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has indicated that the application procedure for a licence for online games of chance will at least comprise the following subjects:

Trustworthiness – Licences will only be granted to trustworthy parties. The administrative-law, criminal-law and tax-law past history, of the applicant and natural persons and legal entities affiliated to it, will be examined.

Expertise – The applicant must have a certain degree of expertise. The applicant must have a plan detailing how it ensures that employees have relevant knowledge in the area of games of chance.

Continuity – The Netherlands Gambling Authority must have sufficient confidence that the continuity of the applicant is guaranteed. In any event, credits in player accounts must be separated from the business capital. The applicant must also provide for a financial guarantee, so that taxes, levies, and any fines can be paid.

Addiction prevention – An addiction prevention policy must be in place. The addiction prevention policy must be in line with the Dutch system of addiction care, developed in collaboration with experts and people with expertise from their own experience. In addition, the applicant must have a representative in the Netherlands regarding addiction prevention.

Advertising and marketing – The applicant’s advertising and marketing policy must comply with the applicable legislation, in particular the Games of Chance Decree and Regulation: Recruitment, Advertising and Addiction Prevention.

Consumer protection – The applicant must have a customer service facility that complies with the rules set in this respect. The provision of information to consumers and complaint handling are also subject to requirements.

Match fixing, Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act and Sanctions Act – The offer of games of chance must comply with the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act and the Sanctions Act. In addition, the requirements for combating match-fixing must be met. For example, gambling patterns must be monitored and there must be a policy in place to manage match-fixing risks.

Outsourcing – If the applicant outsources activities, this may not impair compliance with the statutory regulations. To this end, there must be an outsourcing policy, outsourcing agreements, and a compliance officer.

Integrity – An integrity policy must be in place detailing how integrity risks are dealt with, such as recognising and preventing fraud with or misuse of the offer of games of chance.

Payment transactions and Identification & Verification – The licence holder must verify a player’s identity before granting access to the gambling offer. The licence holder must provide a description of the procedure detailing how the payment transactions meet the requirements imposed by law.

CRUKS and Control database – The applicant must demonstrate that they are able to check whether a player who wants to make use of its gambling offer is registered in the Central Register for Exclusion from Games of Chance (CRUKS). In addition, the applicant must have a control database in which the Netherlands Gambling Authority has access to certain digital data.

ASSISTANCE WITH YOUR APPLICATION FOR A REMOTE GAMBLING LICENCE

Parties that wish to enter the Dutch regulated market for offering online games of chance will have to apply for a licence from the Netherlands Gambling Authority. With its outstanding knowledge of the gaming & gambling sector, Kalff Katz & Franssen is the perfect law firm to assist you in this process.

The application for a licence to offer online games of chance requires a large number of documents to be prepared. Our office has set up a digital environment in which these documents can be uploaded. We have also made a checklist of all documents required and a complete overview of all requirements.

After the application is submitted, the Netherlands Gambling Authority will investigate the applicant, which will involve questions about the applicant and its plans. Kalff Katz & Franssen Attorneys at Law can also provide assistance in this matter.

ABOUT KALFF KATZ & FRANSSEN

Kalff Katz & Franssen Attorneys at Law has been providing specialised services to clients in the gaming and gambling sector for more than 20 years. It has built up a unique position with a team of attorneys that specifically focuses on providing services to that sector.

The attorneys of Kalff Katz & Franssen have been involved in the introduction of the Remote Gambling Act from the very beginning. Over the years, they have built a good relationship with the legislature and the supervising authority. In addition, the attorneys of Kalff Katz & Franssen are affiliated with several international networks of attorneys in the gaming & gambling sector. As a result, they have good relationships with foreign attorneys who have assisted companies in similar licence allocation procedures.

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