As the title “Not for the faint-hearted” might suggest, you can safely say that the journey to regulation and beyond for the Dutch online gambling market has certainly been a bumpy ride, day two panelists shared. of CasinoBeats Summit.
In a 45 minute chat that started with talks about Prima Donna (it’s a Dutch cheese – no I didn’t know that either) the chat quickly moved to the topic in question as an action leading to regulation and beyond that, a possible advertising ban, if the region offers a level playing field and Curacao has come under the microscope.
“It took them ten years to come to this settlement, but it took them ten weeks to screw it up,” said Eric Older, CEO and chairman of gaming and entertainment group JVH, as talks quickly turned to a potentially impending advertising ban. A key recurring theme throughout.
What has been described as a publicity “tsunami” by Olders has also been compared to a desert island with no food, when suddenly it becomes available and everyone scrambles to get their piece of the pie.
With Alan Littlergaming lawyer at Kalf, Katz & Franssen, citing actions by public entities amid an influx of announcements, Pierre-Paul de GoeijCEO of NOGA, noted the difficulty that new entrants to the market might encounter when starting out.
“But now you have to be very careful that this step of opening up the market, which to my knowledge is the only example in the European Union with the legalization of an online market that took place in two phases , is not disadvantageous for new entrants, especially those who do not have much brand recognition in the Dutch market,” he said.
“If this ban on advertising, which has already been mentioned, really needs to be implemented before the end of this year, I think the Netherlands risks ruining the national online gambling market in the Netherlands because there will be a decanalization.”
Sandwiched among the discussions about advertising was that of providing a level playing field; a subject of much debate in many jurisdictions worldwide.
“It’s a long, long discussion in the Netherlands about a level playing field. Although the country is very flat, the rules of the game are not level playing field,” Littler begins, before citing past monopolies and those they were active in a former gray market as examples so far.
In addition to those who have been “able to operate without the costs associated with regulation”, Litter also noted a period of reflection referred to as an “olive branch”, adding that “the rules of the game are not level playing field, but I think it would be much more inclined”.
“No, the Dutch market has never been on the level, it’s not by chance,” Older remarked, before de Goeij offered his contribution after calling the country’s regulations “lazy”.
“And going back to a level playing field, my simple answer is no,” he explained. “There have never been a level playing field, and I’m afraid there are no level playing fields in the gambling industry.
“Not just in the Netherlands, but around the European Union which vary countries where they still have a state monopoly, such as Norway and Finland, which are, in my opinion, incomprehensible and cannot be married , say, to the general law principles that we have in the European Union, that they could either protect people from the dangers of gambling or have an open and transparent licensing system.
Before also giving an opinion on the state monopolies still present across Europe: “The only justification for this is long gone, it is consumer protection.”