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The liberalisation of the lottery market in the Netherlands: 
A report on potential psychosocial impacts and how to minimise harm

Griffiths, M.D. & Derevensky, J. (2017).


Executive Summary
The gambling industry in the Netherlands is about to change. Gambling policy will be modernisedin three areas. First, online gambling will be regulated enabling gamblers to play more safely andresponsibly with regulated/supervised providers. Second, the lottery and casino markets will bereformed with Holland Casino being privatised in 2018 / 2019, and lottery providers will besignificantly increased and will be given more scope to innovate. Finally, 50% of every sold lotteryticket goes to charities / good causes, which already receive more than €580 million annually from lotteries. However it is expected that modernisation will not mean significantly money for the goodcauses. As a result, legislators, regulators, and the general public maintain a vested stake in aneffective, profitable but safe gambling market. 

The objectives of the new gambling policy to prevent gambling addiction, protect consumers, andcombat fraud and other crime, will no longer be pursued by restricting the supply of gamblingopportunities, but by tightening the requirements for providers' licences and strengtheningenforcement by the Gaming Authority. These reforms mark a new chapter in the modernisationof gambling policy, which began with the Gaming Authority's establishment in 2012. 

The Remote Betting and Gaming Bill aims to regulate online gambling and creates the basis for alicensing system that will enable Dutch people to gamble online safely and responsibly. It willimpose strict requirements on online gambling providers, including measures to better protectplayers against gambling addiction. Licensed providers will be required to pay 29 % in tax on gamesof chance, and a contribution to Gaming Authority ( this is applicable for all license holders). Onthe top of this licenced providers of online games, land based casino and amusement arcades willbe required to the Gambling Addiction Fund. As to these ( online, land based casinos andamusement arcades) high-risk games the Gaming Authority will create a central register that willtemporarily exclude problem gamblers from these activities. In principal this will make it easier toidentify problem gamblers and to assist them. The lottery system is deemed of important societal values, the government is therefore keen to provide scope to new initiatives with good causeslotteries starting in 2017, imposing strict requirements to ensure that this purpose is served. 

The new policy rules stipulate that there will be no limitation in the number of licenses extended. Within the proposed framework there will be only land-based offline lotteries and no onlinelotteries. For the present five monopolies (State lottery, Lotto, Sport totalisator, Instant Lotteryand the Totalisator) different policy options are being investigated. In making choices regardingthe new market a number of policy options are being researched. The basic regulatory principlesfor the establishment of these lotteries incorporate general rules for consumer protection(advertising, commercials, and prevention/harm minimisation of problem gambling as well as stopand prevent criminality and illegal offer) and more specifically policy guidelines (Ministry ofSecurity and Justice and specific license requirements set forth by the KSA [Gaming Authority]).Itis anticipated that in 2018, the Law on Online Gambling will be in place and in this way, more ‘risky games’ will be similarly regulated. This seems not to be the case for lottery products as they are considered to be much less harmful compared to other gambling products. It is thereforeimportant to decide which lottery product can be more harmful .Instruments have been developedto check this.


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