Going Dutch: sports integrity remains central to Remote Gaming Bill

Going Dutch: sports integrity remains central to Remote Gaming Bill

Thursday, June 15, 2017
The Remote Gaming Bill is expected to come into force next year

As operators eagerly await the signing of the Netherlands’ Remote Gaming Bill, policymakers have underlined the restrictions that will be imposed on the online sports betting sector, as they look to protect consumers and the industry’s integrity.

The Dutch Lower House passed the bill to regulate online gaming in the Netherlands in July 2016, and the new law is expected to come into force next year.

While online betting firms are looking ahead to gaining legal exposure to a population who enjoy gambling, Frans Maas, policy officer at the Ministry of Security and Justice, said sports integrity will remain central to the new Remote Gaming Bill.

Speaking at this year’s Gaming in Holland conference, which took place in Amsterdam this week, Maas said: “Sports integrity and the battle against match fixing is a shared responsibility between the government, sports bodies and gambling operators.

“Sports bodies play an important part in the prevention of problems such as match fixing through proper education and ensuring fair competition. The government will, of course, prosecute players who manipulate games and interfere with the result.”

Maas added: “Operators have their own responsibility in protecting the integrity of sports. They must be able to identify irregular betting patterns and know their customers.

“Signs of match fixing must immediately be reported to the sports betting intelligence unit of the Gambling Authority. Also, the operator is expected to inform sports bodies if, for instance, a player is betting on their own games.”

According to Maas, the Dutch gaming regulator expects all operators to participate in “international networks” to help protect the integrity of sports.

“An amendment from parliament limits the sports betting offering for licensed operators, in order to help protect the integrity of sports,” he said.

“This means that negative events – or events that are easy to manipulate – cannot be offered by operators. Examples are, for instance, yellow or red cards in football, or double faults in tennis, which might be easy to manipulate for any player.”

Totally Gaming says: Dutch policymakers are currently working on secondary legislation for the country’s Remote Gaming Bill. While the full details of the new law are yet to be finalised, it’s clear that consumer protection and sporting integrity are at the core of their gambling modernisation efforts.

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