Dutch legal fight over lottery license

Dutch legal fight over lottery license

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 Totally Gaming
EGBA is taking action over permits awarded last year

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has described the Netherlands’ lottery license process as “non-transparent and discriminatory” after making a formal complaint to the country’s gaming regulator.

Kansspelautoriteit awarded seven multi-year permits last year to De Staatsloterij, De Lotto, Holland Casino, Nationale Postcode Loterij, BankGiro Loterij and VriendenLoterij to run from January 2015 to January 2017.  

However, EGBA has now challenged the decision, with secretary general Maarten Haijer telling TotallyGaming.com that the government and Kansspelautoriteit had failed to act on previous court rulings.

“I can confirm that EGBA has filed a complaint to the Dutch gaming authority against the lack of a proper tendering procedure for the current seven gambling licenses and the non-transparent and discriminatory manner in which they have been handed out to the incumbent operators,” said Haijer.

“This despite several court rulings, including a clear judgment of the Dutch Council of State of 2011 that concluded that the Dutch government should have allowed Betfair to tender for the Toto and horserace licenses. 

“Our complaint is before the Dutch Gaming Authority and we are awaiting their response.”

A Kansspelautoriteit statement outlined the action as it related to the regulator’s attempt to execute government policy. While EGBA only said that it had put in a complaint to the regulator, Kansspelautoriteit suggested the matter would be decided in court.

“This approach is in line with the way that Netherlands gaming policy is organised - the government determines the policy frameworks and the gaming authority implements it by providing and supervising licenses,” read the statement.

“The judge must now decide whether to reject the application for a multi-year license, and whether the policy of the State, which served as a base, was lawful.”

The move comes after a frustrating year for companies hoping to enter the Dutch market. Operators are concerned that the Netherlands’ Remote Gambling Act has made little progress in 2015 and that it could be more than two years before licensees are operating.

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