Dutch Senate to decide on gaming taxation bill

Early reports suggest that the Dutch Senate cleared a proposed gaming taxation bill this week that will enable the government to tax games of chance, including those provided by foreign online operators whom the Dutch have hitherto prosecuted as 'illegal' in defence of the state monopoly. The bill is also reported to contain provisions targeted on individuals who win at foreign online gaming sites.

Dutch politicians appear to widely favour the bill, mainly because it helps to ensure that: "illegal online gaming is not given advantage over gaming in the real world", a reference to the Holland Casino in which the state is principal shareholder.

Earlier this year (see previous InfoPowa report) the Dutch Senate narrowly rejected an amendment to the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act that would have given Holland Casino an exclusive license in the Netherlands to provide online gaming on a trial basis. At the time there was speculation that the politicians were nervous about European Commission intervention seeking to secure compliance with EU principles of free movement of trade and services.

The bill calls for change in the law on tax regarding Internet gambling, an adjustment of taxation methods for domestic providers of 'illegal' online gaming, as well as for individuals who win at foreign online gaming sites. It is understood that the drafting approach to the legislation has involved a cross-section of Dutch political parties.

More details will be reported as these become available.

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