Regulated online gaming could be on its way very soon in the Netherlands, as the Dutch Council of Minsters has approved proposed language of new gaming laws which would include a 20% gross revenue tax for online gaming operators.
The approval of the proposed gaming law text comes as a pleasant surprise, especially considering there was some initial opposition to having different tax rates for online and land-based casinos. The new proposed gaming laws do not contain any changes to the 29% gross revenue tax land-based casinos are currently subjected to.
The Social Democratic party and the Dutch Labor party were pushing for the online gaming tax rate to be on par with land based casinos, but the country's gaming authority and online gaming operators were pressing for the lower taxes since higher tax rates have proven to be very burdensome for European gaming operators licensed in other countries.
While one would expect the reaction to this news would be positive for gaming operators, according to eGamingReview this is not necessarily the case and operators were hopeful for an even lower rate to be introduced. Unibet CEO Henrik Tjärnström recently called for a rate of 10% or half of the 20% that was in the language approved in the new gaming laws.
The new proposed gaming law also contains language designed to help fund gambling prevention organizations, compliments of the licensed gaming providers. A total of 2% of gross gaming revenues will be dedicated to prevention related causes. This is in addition to the 20% gross revenue tax licensed operators will already be subject to.
According to PokerFuse, the 2% of gross revenues will be split among two organizations. Regulator Kansspelautoriteit will get 1.5%, while the remaining 0.5% is earmarked for a fund to combat gambling addiction.
While the tax rate for land based casinos is not subject to be changed, the landscape for land based casinos should see an overall shift in the near future. The existing Holland Casino monopoly will be split into 14 different branches with four of those branches being sold individually. The other 10 will keep the Holland Casino brand.
Holland Casino is also expected to be one of the licensed online gaming operators after announcing a contract with Playtech in late 2013.
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