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Compliance Updates

Endorhina’s Head of Legal reports on the Netherlands’ new gambling law

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Endorhina's Head of Legal reports on the Netherlands' new gambling law
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Jakub, Endorphina’s Head of Legal, shares his thoughts in a detailed report on the Netherlands’ new gaming application process. We learned that starting October 1st, 2021, the Netherlands will finally release their new law regulation for online gambling!

Jakub explains that the market now becomes open for all types of licenses, like bets on events during a sports match, bets on horse races, and much more. We also hear that there are no limits to the number of accepted licenses, as long as you meet all the requirements.

Dive into Jakub’s full report below:

As of October 1st, 2021, the online gambling market in the Netherlands will finally open. The Dutch Senate approved of the Remote Gambling Act in February of 2019 after years of delays. Before this, the Netherlands tried to fight only the worst offenders in illegal gaming. Nearly two years later, the law is finally scheduled to enter in full force. The online gambling licensing application process began on April 1st, 2021, and now we can finally look forward to its official beginning on October 1st.

The market only opens for the following types of licenses:

  • Casino games in which the players play against the operator;
  • Casino games in which the players play against each other;
  • Bets on events during a sports match or on the outcome of sports matches; and
  • Bets on the results of horse races and harness racing organized by or under auspices of the Dutch Draf

Market surveillance is done by a regulator – the Netherlands Gambling Authority is responsible also for the licensing process. As mentioned above, the licensing process opened on April 1st 2021, therefore from the date of drafting this article, the applications are just being accepted.

There is no limitation on the number of accepted licenses, therefore anyone who fulfills all requirements of the regulator is entitled to receive a license. The duration of the license is 5 (five) years, and the licensing fee is set at EUR 48,000.

Applicants should have their registered office in the EU or the European Economic Area, some exceptions are, however, admissible. Regarding server location requirements, the Control Database Specification document specifies that: “The legislation requires that the CDB final data repository must be located in the Netherlands physically separated from the operators gambling system. Both may be located in the same data centre if an operator chooses to do so, however, data stored in this main the CDB final data repository must be logistically and safely separated from any other data.”

In order to be entitled to receive the license, the decree states that the continuity of a license must be reasonably guaranteed. Therefore, the applicant for the license shall in any case provide among other assurance report confirming that the applicant is not in bankruptcy, under a moratorium of payments or where the applicant’s assets are not subject to an enforceable attachment.

All online gambling applications shall also be assessed against the criteria as per the policy rules which include operating without a permit. No applicants shall operate on the Dutch market in two years and nine months preceding the date on which the application was submitted and during the processing of the application.

Unauthorized operations are deemed when the following criteria are met:

  • The game offer took place on a website whose extension ended in .nl;
  • The game offer was wholly or partly in the Dutch language;
  • The relevant offer or its provider advertised on TV, radio or printed media aimed at the Dutch market;
  • For the games on offer, there was a use of domain name containing terms typical of the Netherlands in combination with the designation of games of chance;
  • The website(s) on which the games of chance were offered contained any features from which a focus on the Netherlands can be deduced; and
  • For the games of chance offered, it was possible to use means of payment that are exclusively or largely used by Dutch people;

 

Taxes are calculated from the gross gaming revenue of the operators currently the taxation is 30.1%. The taxation rate was increased from 29% to 30.1% from January 1, 2018, due to loss of income for the state caused by delays in the adoption of the Online Gambling Act. According to press release from the regulator, the gambling tax will be released back to 29% six months after the entry into force of the Online Gambling Act.

Expectations from this market are rather high. The Netherlands took its time – and at a cost of multiple delays, hopefully, they’ve prepared their regulation for the high demands of the gambling industry.

And that’s a wrap!

We hope you enjoyed reading Jakub’s official report on the Netherlands’ new gambling law. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us anytime. For now, stay tuned to more insights and new releases coming soon!

Compliance Updates

Kindred services remain closed to Dutch residents until licence is awarded

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Kindred services remain closed to Dutch residents until licence is awarded
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On 30 September, Kindred Group communicated to temporarily cease services for Dutch residents due to policy changes in the Netherlands. Kindred has today taken the decision to keep its services closed to Dutch residents until a licence is awarded by the Dutch regulator (KSA).

Kindred Group plc (Kindred) has taken the decision that its services will remain closed to Dutch residents until a licence is awarded to service the Dutch market under the Dutch Remote Gambling Act. Kindred is prepared to submit a license application later in Q4 2021. Subject to the license review process, Kindred looks forward to be awarded an NL license in Q2 2022.

This is in line with the communication on 30 September that Kindred would cease services for Dutch residents on a temporary basis due to recent policy changes communicated by the Dutch Minister for Legal Protection on 20 September.

Kindred is prepared for the Dutch licensing process under the Remote Gambling Act, and has been working on the preparations for a Dutch licence application including successful completion of the required external audit.

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Australia

Crown Unsuitable to Operate Melbourne Casino, Retains Licence

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Crown Resorts has been found unsuitable to operate Crown Melbourne, but the company will retain its licence, and will be subject to stricter oversight.

Victoria’s Royal Commission into Crown has found the operator unsuitable to continue to hold the licence under the Casino Control Act, and an unsuitable associate of Crown Melbourne.

But Commissioner Ray Finkelstein has opted against immediate cancellation of the licence, and has instead recommended the revision of the Casino Control Act to create the position of a Special Manager, who will have the power to oversee the affairs of a casino operator who has been found to be unsuitable.

The Special Manager for Crown will be in place for two years while the operator “attempts to undertake a comprehensive reform agenda to make it suitable.”

The Finkelstein Report opened with the conclusive statement: “The Royal Commission finds Crown is unsuitable to hold a casino licence on the basis that it has engaged in conduct that is ‘illegal, dishonest, unethical and exploitative.’ The Royal Commission notes that the scale of the wrongdoing is so widespread and egregious that ‘no other finding was open.’”

The operator was also found guilty of “grave, ongoing legal breaches and misconduct that contravened not only Australian laws but the laws of other countries often with the knowledge of Crown executives.”

The Victorian Government has accepted all of the Royal Commission’s findings, but added that “in implementing the priority recommendations, we are also going further in a number of areas.” It is introducing “tough new measures and stringent oversight of the casino operator” in order to ensure such failures do not happen again.

Crown has released a statement saying it is currently reviewing the Report and the Victorian Government’s response, and that it will work “cooperatively and constructively” with the Victorian Government in relation to the findings and recommendations.

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Compliance Updates

AvatarUX enters into licensing agreement with Stakelogic for PopWins™ mechanic

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AvatarUX enters into licensing agreement with Stakelogic for PopWins™ mechanic
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AvatarUX has entered into a licensing agreement with Stakelogic that will see the supplier get exclusive rights to the popular PopWins™ mechanic.

The deal, including 6 months exclusivity period, will see Stakelogic incorporate the unique PopWins™ mechanic into its own games, with two titles already confirmed- MysteryDrop™ and their new title JokerDrop™.

AvatarUX’s thrilling PopWins™ mechanic has gained fans worldwide and sees winning symbols ‘pop’ and two more take their place, with reels expanding both in base game and free spins, creating an enhanced win potential for players.

The mechanic has been incorporated in eight AvatarUX titles which has been hugely successful, including player favourite CherryPop™ and TikiPop™, as well as their latest game PiggyPop™, planned for a global release on the 29th November.

Marcus Honney, Managing Director at AvatarUX, said: “Our PopWins™ collection has been a great success for us and the games are performing extremely well with players, so we are thrilled to give the trademark rights to Stakelogic. We are certain Stakelogic’s titles featuring the mechanic will be huge hits with operators and players alike.”

Olga Bajela, CCO at Stakelogic, said: “We pride ourselves in offering our operator partners cutting-edge products and with the PopWins™ mechanic, we can further enhance our offering.

“Everyone who loves slots knows that the PopWins™ collection is innovative and unique and we are excited to offer it to our partners via our own games.”

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