Netherlands regulator sets out agenda ahead of new gambling bill

The Netherlands' gambling regulator has set out its priorities for the next two years, including initial target dates for the introduction of the country's new gambling legislation and the opening of the licensing process, with stakeholders invited to submit comments on the plans.

The public consultation period opened on Monday (October 16th) and runs until November 13th, 2017.

The Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit said that based on the current schedule, it is preparing for the country's new Gaming Act to come into force on October 1st, 2018, subject to the adoption of secondary regulations.

The authority says it expects to receive a large number of licence applications after this date, and plans to launch another consultation before the end of this year dealing specifically with the licensing process. This is designed to ensure that prospective applicants know what is expected of them from the outset.

The regulator added that it expects the first licenses to be issued by April 1st, 2019.

To meet this target date, the regulator has made good progress on developing a central self-exclusion system, which will be available for testing following the entry into force of the new Gaming Act. It will also develop a prototype system for monitoring all online gaming transactions in 2018, which all operators will be required to connect to.

The Kansspelautoriteit added that based on the effectiveness of the monitoring platform, its application may be extended to also include land-based providers.

Regarding the privatisation of Holland Casino, the regulator said that it expects to begin qualifying bidders in the fourth quarter of 2018, although it notes that "it may take some time before the auction results are final".

The regulator also revealed its action plan for the next two years, which focuses on a number of priority issues. These include the prevention of gambling by minors; addressing the perceived increased risk of gambling addiction from betting and slot machines in bars and restaurants; combating the illegal gambling market; increasing monitoring of marketing activities; disassociating crime from gambling; and ensuring compliance with all laws and regulations.

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