Parliamentary questions have been posed in respons to the reports regarding the abundant interest among online gambling operators in a future remote gambling license.
Please read our earlier blog regarding this overwhelming interest of early December 2014 here.
In the meantime, the interest has assumed even larger proportions: with the release of the annual report of the Dutch Games of Chance Authority (“KSA”) early April of this year, it became apparent that more than 200 operators have expressed their interest in a license. Such license, to be granted by the KSA after the Dutch Remote Gambling Act has entered into force, allows operators to offer online gambling targeted to the Netherlands. The great interest that has been shown so far has overwhelmed the KSA.
At present, members of the parliament posed tax related parliamentary questions. For example, it is questioned whether the State Secretary can provide a new estimation of the expected market size of online gambling in the Netherlands. Furthermore, it is questioned whether an assessment of gaming tax revenues in case of a uniform tax rate for both online and land based gambling can be provided – taking into account this new market size estimation – and what the anticipated channeling degree would be in case of such uniform tax rate.
Although the government considers a 20% tax rate suitable for online gambling, there are calls to bring this rate to the same level at the tax rate applicable to land based operators (29%) in order to avoid improper competition. However, researchers warn that such higher tax rate may not lead to the envisaged channeling degree of 80%, since players could be more tempted to play with illegal operators who can offer higher pay out percentages because of lower expenses. Depending on the answers to the parliamentary questions (in particular the information regarding anticipated tax revenues), there are voices to amend the future tax rate to 24% or 25% for both online as well as land based operators.
The answers to the parliamentary questions will follow soon.