On 5 March 2014, the 171 page-long text of the proposed Dutch Remote Gambling Act (“Act”) was notified to the European Commission. Now that the three-month standstill period at the European Commission has passed, the bill is to be sent to Parliament soon. At present, it is up to the Council of state to provide its advice, after which plenary debates will follow. Although the Netherlands is still aiming for the 1st of January 2015 for the Act to enter into effect, the expectation is that this estimated timeline might not be achieved.
Meanwhile: regulator sets requirements future operators have to comply with
Although the Netherlands is waiting for the bill to pass Parliament, the Dutch Games of Chance Authority (“KSA”) is currently working on detailed requirements with respect to the minimal level of processes and standards that have to be met by future online operators to ensure a safe gaming environment. The intervention and care of KSA will mainly focus on the prevention of gambling addiction and consumer protection. Considering this, operators will be required – amongst other things – to monitor and analyze gambling behaviour of their players. As soon as all such requirements are ready, KSA will make this, together with the license application form, public.
In order to make such technical and organizational requirements as practical as possible, KSA has announced that it aims to work together with operators to create a workable market in the Netherlands. To that end, KSA intends to hold public consultations with operators in autumn 2014 to consider whether the requirements set by KSA will be practicable in the future.
KSA announced that it intends to be very open towards the industry and that dialogue with the online operators will become key. KSA currently already cooperates with other EU-authorities to harmonize procedures and requirements where possible. This cooperation is necessary to execute the supervisory task in the online world as adequate as possible.